Neurologist Inmaculada Plaza Macías, from the Stroke Unit at Hospiten Estepona, warns that the key to dealing with a stroke lies in acting quickly, as therapies to treat this condition lose their effectiveness if not administered within four hours of the appearance of the first symptoms.
From Hospiten Estepona we want to remind the public that, today, there are effective therapies for the treatment of stroke that should be administered in a hospital, so Plaza recommends that, "in the case of suspecting that we or someone in our environment is experiencing symptoms indicating a stroke, immediately call the emergency department".
"Every minute is crucial to increasing the chances of recovery and reducing the risk of lasting effects," adds the specialist.
The symptoms of a stroke are easily identifiable and include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or problems with speech or understanding and sudden sight problems, either in one or both eyes. Other symptoms are sudden problems in walking, dizziness and loss of balance or coordination, and finally, a severe and sudden headache with no apparent cause.
Epidemiological information reveals that every six minutes a stroke occurs in Spain, making it the first cause of mortality in women and the second in men. Likewise, it is estimated that one third of patients with stroke die and 40% suffer a disability that prevents them from taking care of themselves.
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), stroke affects between 120,000 and 130,000 Spaniards every year, of whom between 10,000 and 15,000 are under 55 years of age. According to these figures, stroke causes more disability and premature deaths than Alzheimer's and traffic accidents combined.