Number of stroke patients being admitted to hospitals declines due to pandemic | Inquirer News

Number of stroke patients being admitted to hospitals declines due to pandemic

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 04:51 PM September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Stroke Society of the Philippines (SSP) on Thursday said that the country saw a decline in stroke patients being admitted in hospitals due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Dr. Epifania Collantes, who is the head of stroke services at the Philippine General Hospital, said that the SSP conducted a national survey on the impact of COVID-19 on stroke care in the Philippines.


“There was a decline in the number of acute stroke patients consulting at the emergency room by as much as 50 percent to 75 percent,” Collantes said.

“The [top] common reasons in the delay of hospital consult among patients with stroke symptoms is still the lack of stroke awareness and the fear of COVID infection when reaching the hospitals,” she added.


Stroke, which is “a disease that occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts,” remains to be one of the top leading causes of deaths worldwide, the SSP said.

Stroke is also the second top causes of death in the Philippines, the SSP added.

Because of this, the Angels Initiative – a global healthcare initiative spearheaded by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim — has partnered with SSP for the #StrokeDontStayAtHome campaign.

“The #StrokeDontStayAtHome campaign aims to encourage persons experiencing signs and symptoms of stroke (“BE FAST”) to seek emergency care, regardless of the pandemic situation: B-Balance difficulty; E-eye changes; F-Face drooping, crooked smile; A-Arm weakness or numbness; S-Slurred speech; and T-Time to call an ambulance,” the SSP said.

“The public is understandably still grappling with the fear of being exposed to COVID-19 but experiencing any stroke symptoms (that is,  BEFAST) also demands urgent attention and should not be ignored,” SSP president Dr. Manuel Mariano said.

“Stroke, being a medical emergency, needs urgent and immediate treatment at the hospital, so one should not hesitate to leave their homes to get medical help,” he added.

“In fact, hospitals have adapted to the current situation and implemented guidelines to ensure the safety of all patients and their medical workers.”

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TAGS: stroke, Stroke Society of the Philippines
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