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A stitch in time……

It can be dangerous to postpone the plans to weekends to seek medical attention for health related issues of yourself or your near & dear-ones; be it a matter related to your brain, heart, blood pressure or sugars.

In today’s medical science, increasingly the ways are being developed and many are available to provide definitive treatment against the diseases which were once having only supportive care available. Not to the fullest, but organ damage or complications can surely be limited if the victim reaches the Hospital “In-time” – often known as – “The Window Period”. 

In case of “ischemic stroke” – in simpler term—“brain attack”, the blood supply to a particular part of brain ceases leading to the symptoms such as weakness in any of the four limbs, facial deviation or slurring of speech. Starting symptom which can be as meager as giddiness (Chakkar) is known as “Index Symptom”. If the patient reaches within this window period from the starting of Index symptom; there is a good chance that after caring out necessary tests “Thrombolytic Agents” (drugs that can dissolve the clot in the culprit artery) can be used to bring a substantial number of patients to the normalcy. This window period — Index symptom till the patient receives Medication – is 3 hours in case of “stroke”. 

Similarly, the Index Symptom for “Myocardial Infarction” aka “heart attack” can be anything varying from sudden onset uneasiness in chest to a marked chest pain with sweating and breathlessness. The window period in this case is 3 hours. During this 3-hour window, thrombolytic therapy and primary PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) have about the same efficacy in terms of limiting mortality. Primary PCI is a procedure which is carried out in ‘Cath-Lab’ in which the blocked coronary artery is opened-up by the Cardiologist using the techniques commonly known as Coronary angiography and angioplasty. Compared to a thrombolytic therapy, there’s roughly a 1-hour grace period before you start to lose the benefits of even primary PCI. The dictum is — “minutes means muscles” – more the delay in definitive therapy more are the heart muscles damaged. 

Importance of bringing very high Blood Pressure to the normal levels gradually, in a linear manner and in-time cannot be overlooked seeing at its possible complications like damage to the kidneys, brain and/or vision threatening damage to the retina.

In epidemics like Dengue, Chikungunya or Swine flu; early recognition of alarming signs and adequate fluid resuscitation is of paramount importance to avoid circulatory collapse. 

While keeping in pace with the fast life, we should take the calls from our body too in-time as it is rightly said: a stitch in time saves nine.

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