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Health News of Monday, 2 November 2020

Source: e.TV Ghana

Aspirin is not a sure first-aid for stroke - Doctor discloses

There is this myth that when a person begins to show symptoms of stroke, giving him or her aspirin immediately can help to treat the condition.

Dr. Albert Akpalu, a Consultant Physician and Neurologist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, has advised against using aspirin as a first-aid treatment for aspirin as it is not a sure way to go.

He explained, on eTV Ghana’s Men’s Lounge show hosted by Nana Yaw Odame that relying on aspirin only, puts the person in a life and death situation because there are two types of stroke, hemorrhagic and ischemic and that can only be detected by taking a CT scan.

Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by clotting in the brain, hence aspirin may be recommended since it is known to help in thinning the blood, thereby preventing clots. However, if the person happens to be suffering from an Ischemic stroke, which is caused by an obstruction in blood flow to the brain, and is made to rely on aspirin without prescription, the situation will not improve.

Although stroke is a serious illness and is the second leading cause of deaths in Ghana, according to Dr. Akpalu, CT scans are available in only about four or five out of the sixteen regions in Ghana, and this should not be so.

In view of this, he said, “We are doing a campaign, with the kind involvement of any government that is in power or that is coming, we need one region, one CT Scan. We need them to make the diagnosis because, without the diagnosis, we cannot tell what type of stroke the person has.

"The new definition of stroke says that you need objective evidence on a CT Scan. Having that diagnosis makes a wealth of difference because knowing which type will determine which medication to give”.

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