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Rehabilitating stroke survivors
Most stroke survivors reach a plateau after about three months, say doctors, but don’t be discouraged by that
Reproduced from: http://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/health/2019/oct/29/rehabilitating-stroke-survivors-2054104.html, published Oct. 29, 2019
One of the leading causes of disability and death globally is a stroke. The incidence of stroke is high in India as well – more than 18 lakh cases of stroke are reported in India every year. Despite this, there is little awareness about stroke due to which both treatment and rehabilitation is a challenge for many patients.
“The suddenness of the attack and the absence of clear symptoms makes it a deadly event as it allows only a small ‘window period’ where a patient can be treated successfully without any major disability,” says Dr Vishal Sehgal, Medical Director, Portea Medical, a home healthcare management organisation.
“We need a strong, centralised stroke action plan and a comprehensive written stroke management protocol in case of emergencies at all hospitals... an emergency transport service with an easy 24x7 access helpline that can reduce door-to-needle time to less than one hour... a stroke-specific diagnostic setup, including emergency neuro-imaging systems such as MRI and CT-scan facilities... readily accessible medical expertise for quick diagnosis as well as cost-effective post-stroke physiotherapy and rehab facilities,” says Dr KK Aggarwal, President, Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania
“Since recovery from stroke takes a long time many patients often drop out from rehabilitation programmes as a result of which a survivor’s responsibility falls on the family. Further, the cost of treatment, hospital admission and post-stroke rehab are high,” says Dr Sehgal. On the occasion of World Stroke Day, healthcare experts tell us how to best manage a stroke survivor.
Regular movement is must
Encourage a stroke survivor to be as much physically active as possible. Make a daily exercise routine in consultation with the doctor and see to it that the patient follows it. In case the patient is struggling with a task, offer help. But don’t be overbearing. Just be around so that you can step in when the situation demands.
Modify your house a bit
Stroke patients often have a problem of balancing their body which increases the risk of falling. Make certain changes in your home like install grab bars, place anti-slip mats to minimise the chances of falling.
Avoid OTC supplements
Don’t fall for OTC (Over The Counter) supplements that promise the moon. Do not take any over the counter drug. Always consult your doctor before going in for any supplement. Carefully monitor the side-effects of prescribed medicines. Contact your doctor immediately in case you notice any adverse change.
Motivate and encourage
Most stroke survivors reach a plateau after about three months, say doctors, but don’t be discouraged by that. The human brain has amazing powers and keeping a positive attitude will help a great deal. Tackle emotional outbursts with love and care.
Manage risk factors
Check all body parameters like blood pressure and blood sugar regularly. If you notice any fluctuations, consult a doctor immediately
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Healthcare News Monitor
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Mint - Leroy Leo
The government’s top advisory board for pharmaceutical policy will soon consider allowing sale of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medicines at retail outlets, a senior government official said. Last month, the Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) recommended that the government should define OTC drugs in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, as well as make regulations on their distribution, sale and advertisements. “The Sub-Committee (of DCC) is of the opinion that there is an urgent need for defining the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and to lay down specific provisions for the regulation of OTC drugs in the country," as per the minutes of the meeting. The consultative panel had also suggested that the government create two lists of over-the-counter drugs, based on evidence of their safety, availability, non-habit forming nature, among other factors. Now, the proposal will move to the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the government’s highest advisory board on pharmaceutical matters, and following its approval, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will take a final call, the official said. “After the DCC’s approval for the OTC policy, it now goes to DTAB. So there will be a panel looking at it. It’s all work in progress right now," the official said, on condition of anonymity.
LiveMint - Rajiv Nath
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LiveMint - Neetu Chandra Sharma
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