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Women, don’t ignore mini-strokes’

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Kolkata: Leading neurologists and stroke specialists here on Thursday urged women to seek immediate medical attention in case of “mini-strokes” as delaying treatment could increase risk of a major stroke.

“Women are care-givers and so they generally do not pay much attention to slight temporary changes that occur during their activities. Mini-strokes or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) basically means that brain function is disrupted for a short time (less than 24 hours),” said Nabin Sarkar, senior consultant neurologist and stroke specialist at the Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals here.

“It can last for 30 to 90 minutes and many do not even notice the signs such as sudden numbness in arms or slurred speech etc.,” he said.

Sarkar and colleague Shankar Loharuka sounded the alarm bell on the risks associated with mini-strokes.

“One in twelve run the risk of getting a major stroke within 48 hours of TIA and within a week, it increases to ten percent. So instead of taking signs of numbness lightly, women should immediately go to a hospital where stroke management services are available,” they said.

In commemoration of World Stroke Day, the experts emphasised the gender-benders when it comes to stroke and its recovery and severity.

“Chances of recovery is less for women as compared to men and even severity is more for women. They are more likely to die of strokes than a man,” the experts said, adding community awareness and educating women as well as their partners is important.

They suggested the F.A.S.T. system to remember the sudden signs of stroke: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to call (the doctor or emergency service).