Sorry for the morbid title, ugaiz. But we’re about to tell you 3 things that WILL make you kan cheong fo’sho:
- Stroke is the 3rd highest cause of death in Malaysia
- Stroke can happen to anyone and at ANY AGE
- If you wanna save someone (or yourself) who’s having a stroke, YOU. NEED. TO. ACT. FAST!
So great news, we we finally have the VERY FIRST stroke hotline in Malaysia! Launched by Ara Damansara Medical Centre (ADMC) in conjunction with World Stroke Day (29 Oct), this hotline is open 24/7 to speed up stroke care efficiency (we’ll explain it shortly).
Chup… is stroke like a heart attack?
Some of you might have that misconception, since every TVB drama has an episode of the father having a heart attack after a verbal fight with his daughter, then everyone rushes him to the hospital and whatnot. Well, that’s not what stroke is like – it’s actually a brain attack, and most times it leaves the patient semi- or fully-paralysed.
How does it happen? When a blood vessel in the brain BURSTS (haemorrhagic) or gets CLOGGED (ischemic), it stops supplying blood to the brain. Deprived of oxygen and nutrients, that part of the brain starts to die! And when it does, that body function that it controls – like your face, your arms, speech, even your memory, will be LOST. But all that scientificky stuff aside, how do you know if someone’s got a stroke attack? And what to do? The first thing to remember is the F.A.S.T rule…
F – Check their FACE. Is their face/mouth drooping?
A – Can they lift both ARMS?
S – Is their SPEECH slurred? Can they understand you?
T – TIME is critical. Call a doctor now!
Stroke can also happen at ANY age, which really surprised us…somehow stroke always seemed like more of a senior citizen kind of thing. However, it could be caused by a ruptured blood vessel from head trauma. Or blood clots, or plaque build-up due to high cholesterol, which blocks the vessels. And yes, even young people can have high cholesterol. You won’t believe how young the youngest patient at this hospital is…
Her name is Belle Bong and she was only 4 years old when it happened. It started with headaches while she was having fun at the Genting Highlands theme park. Her parents took her to ADMC when she got worse and she was put on life support. Thankfully Belle survived, and we saw her at the launch (though the stroke had left her with a limp and a bit of pronunciation slowness).
Just when you thought it kenot be any younger than Belle, doctors told us even babies can get stroke. Ok la, the instances of stroke happening in kids is rarer than adults, and it the risk usually increases with age. But still it HAS happened and it happened to Belle. We’re just saying don’t take it so lightly la.
So why do we need a hotline just for stroke?
Like we said, time is of the essence!
“Stroke patients’ lives can be saved by recognizing the symptoms quickly and providing proper medical care to the patients within the first 4.5 hours.” – Sue Lee said at the launch
Within ah, not after! Every minute you waste, the greater the damage to the body will be…or worse, it can lead to death. Sometimes, stroke symptoms can be FULLY reversed if treatment is started early. Yes, the faster you act, the greater their chance of survival and recovery.
Stroke is considered the single most common cause of disability and each year, 50,000 Malaysians suffer from it. And while the stroke hotline can’t actually reduce stroke incidents (ugaiz need to be responsible for that yourselves)… But like we said in the title, it can reduce stroke DEATHS and disability. Simply because of the speed and readiness element.
Or even if you have come n’ go symptoms, don’t take them so lightly. They could be mini-strokes – which are warning signs that a big time stroke could happen any day. Don’t pandai-pandai try any home remedies. We know of this thing where people say you can save stroke victims by pricking their fingers and earlobes. Please DON’T EVER TRY THIS! It’s a dangerous hoax and you could really harm the person. Better leave it to the experts.
Once the worst is over, life doesn’t end there… Find people who have gone through the same experience, where you can get the emotional and physical support for stroke survivors and carers at the National Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM). Founded in 1996, NASAM is Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s first stroke NGO.
“Stroke should not be a stumbling block to pursuing my dream. Over the years, thanks to hard work, sacrifices, prayer and determination, life can be beautiful.” – Ratha Renganathan, stroke survivor, Strokenews at NASAM
Here’s how the hotline works:
Wah banyaknyer steps. We simplified it for you:
- You notice someone (or yourself) with the symptoms of stroke.
- Call the hotline: 019-217 9442
- They’ll send an ambulance to you
- Once at the hospital, a doctor will assess you through a brain scan (MRI), which shows WHERE the brain is damaged and what TYPE of stroke has happened. (It’s important to identify early which type, as they each have very different treatments!)
- After surgery (if it goes that far), the team will help the patient recover and rehabilitate, like doing exercises and stuff.
But if you ter-call this hotline cos you had a heart attack or something else like that, don’t worry – the hospital will connect you to the correct department 🙂
About pricing, they’ve got 2 discounted packages (from now till 30 Nov): a basic package at RM1,673 and a comprehensive package at RM3,080. And just so you know, Sime Darby isn’t the only hospital in Malaysia with a neurology department treating stroke, here’s a whole list of them. They just happen to have the first stroke hotline, which will come to your aid in a speedy fashion.
In the meantime…. can ugaiz pls take care of yourself and take steps to prevent a stroke attack? You can start by….
- getting rid of MSG and cutting down on salt in your cooking
- taking it easy with high-cholesterol food like seafood, fried stuff, yadda yadda (we know you all know edy, we don’t wanna sound like your mother)
- actually exercising on a regular basis. Seriously. (Running away from this fact is not an exercise.)
(More weird ways to stay healthy from CILISOS readers here.)
Don’t forget to save the hotline in your phone: 019-217 9442