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.”