Delhi hospital launches helpline for strokes

New Delhi: With the number of strokes on the rise, Delhi`s Fortis hospital Tuesday launched a toll-free helpline for victims.

A statement from the hospital chain said its helpline number 1800-200-3060 can be accessed from both mobiles and landlines in Delhi and the NCR.

"The goal is to get the stroke victim to a hospital as quickly as possible to confirm the diagnosis because every minute is important. FEHI has a dedicated expert team 24*7 - a neurologist, a neuro-surgeon, emergency room, critical care, a cardiologist and radiologist - to provide comprehensive stroke treatment," a statement from the hospital said.

A stroke is a brain disease caused by either blockage of blood supply or rupture of a blood vessel to a particular part of the brain. This results in reduction of blood and oxygen supply to the affected part of brain resulting in loss of function. After 3-6 hours, the brain cells are irreversibly damaged and any form of treatment cannot completely reverse the damage.

A stroke is a major cause for loss of life, limbs and speech in India, with the Indian Council of Medical Research estimating that in 2004, there were 9.3 lakh cases of stroke and 6.4 lakh deaths due to stroke in India, most of the people being less than 45 years old.

WHO estimates suggest that by 2050, 80 percent of stroke cases in the world would occur in low and middle income countries, mainly India and China.