World Stroke Day: Reacting quickly and correctly in the event of a stroke

Austria is among the international leaders in acute stroke care. Prevention is the most important factor in preventing a stroke. It also depends on your personal lifestyle. High blood pressure, increased fat levels, atrial fibrillation, smoking, and obesity are among the five most common risk factors. “By making changes to your lifestyle, you can significantly reduce your chances of having a stroke. These include moderate alcohol consumption, watching your weight, a Mediterranean diet, regular physical activity and, above all, not smoking,” says Julia Ferrari of the Austrian Society. of Neurology and the Austrian Stroke Society.

Should a stroke nevertheless occur, prompt action is the most important thing. Rapid transport with rescue to a “Stroke Unit” is of immense importance. Every minute can be crucial here. Unfortunately, there are always delays, because there is often another transport between two hospitals, ”says Christian Enzinger, President of the Austrian Neurological Society.

In acute therapy, there has been a revolution in the treatment of severe strokes for several years. “In patients with vascular occlusion of a (large) cerebral artery, the clot can be removed mechanically in many cases – usually in addition to treatment with thrombolysis. In the event of a severe stroke, this intervention allows often to avoid permanent disability and is performed by interventional radiologists using a minimally invasive approach via the inguinal artery.”After such an operation, many patients are completely discharged after the event,” says Elke Gizewski, president of the Austrian Society for Neuroradiology.

Another important point is good post-stroke care. An innovation was introduced with the MEL “Stroke Card”. “We know from scientific assessments that around 20% of patients are hospitalized again the following year. The reasons are multiple: recent vascular event, falls, incontinence, anxiety, depression, etc. To best prevent this, occasional outpatient follow-up by an interdisciplinary team may indeed suffice,” says Ferrari.

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