India suffers one stroke death every 4 minutes: Top expert MV Padma Srivastava


New Delhi: Brain stroke is the second most common cause of death in India with one patient succumbing to the disease every four minutes, a top health expert flagged on Thursday.

Padma Shri awardee Dr (Prof) MV Padma Srivastava, who is the most renowned neurologist in the country and is a Professor of Neurology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, participated in the celebration of International Women’s Day event at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital today.

Delivering a keynote address at the event titled, “Stroke care and its primary preventive methods in poor resource settings in India”, Dr Srivastava said, “Stroke is the second most common cause of death in India. About 1,85,000 strokes occur every year in India with nearly one stroke every 40 seconds and one stroke death every 4 minutes.”

She further referred to the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) and said that most incidents of stroke were recorded in the country.

“India bore most of the burden of stroke with 68.6 per cent incidence of stroke. 70.9 per cent stroke deaths and 77.7 Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost. These figures are alarming for India with many living in poor resource settings. Another alarming and important finding of the GBD 2010 stroke project is 5.2 million (31 per cent) strokes were in children aged less than 20 years. The stroke burden is greater in India and more so among younger and middle-aged people,” she said.

The health expert flagged the lack of necessary infrastructure to deal with the alarming data in the country.

“In spite of these alarming figures, many Indian hospitals lack the necessary infrastructure and organization required to treat stroke patients quickly and efficiently and do not deliver adequate stroke care. The stroke services across the country especially in public sector hospitals are deficient in many aspects,” Dr Srivastava said.

The Padma Shri awardee further listed the solutions to boost the infrastructure needed to tackle the rising numbers.

“One of the solutions for this deficiency in rich and poor resource settings in India is to adopt Telestroke models in poor resource settings. Implementation of Telemedicine / Telestroke facilities is an important step for bridging the economically and geographically challenged and underprivileged sections of the society,” she said.

This program also included inspirational talks by three distinguished faculty members of the hospital.

The members included Dr Jayashree Sood, Chairperson, Institute of Anesthesiology, who spoke on how to maintain the balance between work and life, especially for women, Prof Kusum Verma, Advisor Cytopathology who spoke on her experiences mitigating professional challenges and Padma Bhushan Dr Neelam Kler Chairperson of Department of Neonatology who talked about her belief in the saying ‘Never say Never’.

This program was hosted by the department of Research and chaired by Prof NK Ganguly, former director general ICMR and Chairperson department of Research, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The department of research at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has a robust PhD program and a state of art equipped laboratory with a focus on basic and translational research in varied fields including neurobiology, cancer biology, stem cell biology, immunology, autoimmune and infectious diseases.

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( With inputs from )

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