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Stroke likely to become more severe in Covid-infected people: AIIMS doctors

by Vaishali Sharma

Stroke among persons infected with the coronavirus is likely to be more severe, and their odds of recovery are about half that of stroke patients who are not infected with Covid-19, according to experts at AIIMS on Friday.

Patients who have a stroke linked to Covid-19 also have a higher mortality and morbidity rate, according to Dr Rohit Bhatia, Professor, Department of Neurology at AIIMS.

The 29th of October is World Stroke Day.

The world’s most prestigious medical institution has done multi-centric investigations on stroke outcomes before and throughout the epidemic, as well as the clinical profile and result of stroke in patients who do not use Covid-19.

“Generally a good recovery is called when a patient of stroke becomes independent in daily activities within three months of the stroke. Covid-19-related strokes are likely to be more severe and also associated with relatively poorer outcomes. However, it is still not clear whether Covid is causative or associated with the occurrence of stroke,” he said.

AIIMS collaborated with 17 other hospitals across the country to study the changes in stroke treatment pathway in 2,500 patients before and during the pandemic. The study outcomes suggested that there were some treatment delays and mild increase in mortality in the patients during the pandemic period.

Endovascular Thrombectomy, an important procedure among patients with Ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion, reduced significantly during the pandemic. Several other procedures were also delayed, Bhatia said.

“Covid-19 is known to manifest and involve several other organs in the illness. The brain is among them. There is no definitive evidence to say that Covid can directly cause stroke, though it may add to the risk of clot formation,” said Dr M V Padma Srivastava, chief of Neurosciences Centre at AIIMS.

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