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Less stroke sufferers seeking medical care

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Less stroke sufferers seeking medical care

By Shakirah Thebus 31m ago

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Cape Town – Ten people suffer a stroke every hour in South Africa, according to the SA Heart and Stroke Foundation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, fewer people are also seeking medical care after having had a stroke. The provincial health department said this will have a major impact on the number of recoveries.

Western Cape health facilities remain open for those seeking emergency care and have implemented precautionary measures to protect visitors from contracting Covid-19.

Stroke symptoms may include: a loss of balance or co-ordination; blurry vision or a loss of vision; one corner of your mouth or face droops; weakness in an arm or leg; or sudden speech impediment.

Heart and Stroke Foundation chief executive Pamela Naidoo said: “There appears to be a decrease in the number of patients being admitted for stroke, but doctors do not believe that there has been a decrease in the number of strokes.

“Strokes can be fatal so a selected number of individuals may have died at home. We will only know this in a few months’ time.”

Naidoo said reasons why those suspected of having suffered a stroke have not sought medical care are largely due to a fear of contracting Covid-19 while at a health-care facility.

Colette Gunst, a family physician in the Cape Winelands, said: “It seems that less people are seeking emergency care if they think they are having a stroke.

“Quick action within the first four hours after you notice symptoms can mean the difference between life, death and permanent disability.”

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