Three to five people from Kelantan suffer from strokes every day, with increasing numbers.
Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) neurologist Dr. Sanihah Abdul Halim said even people in their 20s are now suffering strokes, as compared to previous times when only those above 40 were at risk.
“Strokes now stem from other diseases and conditions — heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure — which are left unchecked. These three conditions are caused by a variety of things such as smoking, bad eating habits, lifestyle and depression,” she told at a World Stroke Day celebration.
The programme, organised jointly with Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital(HRPZII), was opened by USM’s Medical Science Learning Centre deputy dean Professor Dr. Dinsuhaimi Sidek.Dr. Sanihah said some 300 people were treated for stroke at HUSM annually, while 500 were handled by HRPZII.
Early treatment the first symptoms of a stroke is capable of preventing a severe attack.
Treatment needs to be started not more than four and a half hours after a person’s face or arms were unable to function, or speech becomes slurred.
“Those who are suspected to have been affected by stroke need to be immediately taken to a hospital which has a CT Scan machine to identify what kind of stroke he or she has suffered before treatment can be administered. In Kelantan, there are four such hospitals – HUSM, HRPZII, Kuala Krai Hospital, and Tanah Merah Hospital,” said Dr. Sanihah.
“There are two kinds of strokes — ischemic stroke, and haemorrhagic stroke. We worry that should a stroke victim arrive in hospital more than four and a half hours after suffering the attack, their condition will worsen.”
An occurrence is traditional medicine is sometimes sought before going to the hospital. Sometimes, it is too late.
“If they had gone straight to hospital, there would have been a 30% chance of recovery,” Dr. Sanihah said.
Globally, a stroke occurs every 45 seconds, with deaths from stroke occurring every three minutes.