Shimla: Medical fraternity is celebrating ‘world stroke day’ today with the theme of “Minutes can save lives.”

For the record, the state of Himachal Pradesh is the first state to start free stroke care, under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke (NPCDCS).

The initiative has rendered positive results as it has increased the survival chances and recovery from stroke and has ensured that every patient gets access to stroke care in time. As per an NHM spokesperson, under ‘Free Stroke Care,’ now a total of 585 patients have been saved, who reached the medical facility within the window period of four hours after stroke.

Under the ‘Free Stroke Care’ scheme, the Government hospitals with CT-Scan facilities are looped in the stroke care.

In Himachal Pradesh there are 17 stroke care centers notified in 12 districts. 2 in Medical Colleges (IGMC Shimla and Dr. RPGMC Tanda), 3 in Zonal Hospitals (Shimla, Dharamshala and Mandi), 7 in Regional Hospitals (Bilaspur, Nahan, Solan, Chamba, Hamirpur, Kullu and Una), 7 in Civil Hospitals (Rampur, Rohru, Paonta sahib, Palampur, Nurpur and Sunder Nagar) and 1 in Community Health Centre Nalagarh. He further added that the use of social networking sites like “Whatsapp” is being used for transmitting CT-scan images from trained medical officers working in these centers to neurologists for consultation who are available on phone 24×7.

In case of any incidence of stroke, patient should be immediately brought to the designated stroke centres within the first four crucial hours, when the lives can be saved by timely treatment of thrombolization.

One can also call for medical help on the mobile application ‘HP Telstroke’ that is available on Google Play Store. Patients can contact 108 ambulance and pinpoint the nearest equipped stroke treatment centre at one click.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.