The symptoms of a person infected with Covid-19 virus can worsen significantly and they may take longer time to recover in case they have a stroke, a new study done at Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital has found. It also showed that Indians have a lower prevalence rate of stroke in Covid-19 patients as compared to the global numbers. The study compared several stroke patients who had coronavirus with those who were free from it.
According to the study, between May 1 and August 31, only 21 out of 1500 Covid-19 patients who received treatment at the hospital suffered from stroke. “Indians seem to have a lower prevalence rate of stroke in Covid-19 patients, while global studies have shown the prevalence to be between 5 per cent and 6 per cent,” Dr Pradyumna Oak, Head of Neurology at Nanavati Hospital was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Dr Oak observed 21 Covid-19 positive stroke patients and 21 non-Covid stroke patients who were admitted to the hospital during that period. He found that people belonging to the first category had poorer recovery rate and functional outcomes including speech and movement. The mortality rate among those patients was also higher. Dr Oak said that almost 25 per cent of them needed over 15 days to recover.
A similar pattern was observed in the BMC-funded King Edward Memorial Hospital. Dr Sangeeta Rawat, Head of Neurology department and Neeraj Jain, Associate Professor at KEM, found that between the months of April and July 2020, 18 patients who came for treatment of stroke also suffered from Covid-19.
“Now we test older patients coming in with stroke symptoms for Covid. It helps us plan their treatment better,” Dr Rawat was quoted as saying. Dr Jain pointed out that many of these patients were between 40 and 50 years of age but had no comorbidities. Both hospitals agreed that stroke patients who were also infected with Covid-19 needed to stay longer in the hospital.
According to Fortis Hospital’s Dr Rajesh Benny, stroke in Covid patients usually occurs in the second week of the infection. He said this knowledge has helped them manage the patients better. “They are given anticoagulants and advised to take blood thinners for one to two months after discharge, reducing the chances of stroke,” he said.