Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Heart Attacks And Hemorrhagic Strokes: Do Nigerians Survive These Attacks?


It is with a sense of dismay that I create this thread. I don't know about you, but I've observed particularly in the last decade or two that more and more Nigerians are dying suddenly; either they slump, sleep and not wake up, or simply let out a shout(my head my head my head), and next thing you know, they are gone. These 3 scenarios are typical of Heart attacks, Cardiac arrest, and Hemorrhagic Strokes.

Sad to say, a lot of the people I know, even seemingly very literate ones tend to blame such deaths on spiritual attacks, and for that reason I believe we miss the opportunity to fashion out a way to prevent as much as possible, a recurrence.

I've often wondered why everyone I learnt had a heart attack in Nigeria or a Hemorrhagic stroke ends up dying. Perhaps I've not been very observant, but I've never met a survivor of any of these medical emergencies. 
 Mind you, I'm not talking about the less severe stroke that usually partially paralyze a part of the body.
Ironically, in the western world, statistics shows that only a third of victims end up dying from these emergencies. Some persons have even survived repeated heart attacks.

Well, I know some will say we don't have the facilities and emergency response, yes, but even those who do make it to the hospital end up dying. On the part of the populace, we are usually helpless when such emergencies occur which I find rather unfortunate. Now let me say this, the reason why people end dying from heart attacks particularly in Nigeria, is not only due to inadequate facilities, but also due to ignorance. A simple CPR(chest compress) which can be performed by anybody can and have saved many lives(a CPR is by no means a solution to heart attacks, but can help to keep the victim alive till medical professionals take over management). I simply cannot understand why both the government and we the people have not yet seen the need to educate ourselves about this simple live saving procedure. Personally I've tried to train loved ones on this procedure, but often they laugh it off or don't take it seriously. They're usually quick to label me a coward, pessimist or faithless person. I'm certain I'll do whatever I can to help a heart attack victim if I encounter any such emergencies, but I sometimes worry that no one will be able to come to my aid if I were to be a victim some day.

I think we need a change of attitude toward this sudden killers. More and more are dying needless deaths, and we can do more that just blowing breeze or pouring water on victims while we wait for them to die. We need to educate ourselves, our spouses, children, friends, and relatives. Your effort can save a loved ones life including yours. This emergencies can befall anyone irrespective of age or gender(although men 30 years and above are disproportionately affected, but women over 45 years of age are at increased risk)

Doctors and Medical professionals in the house please throw more light on this topic; how to prevent the conditions that leads to this medical emergencies and what to do when such emergencies do occur. I'm however aware of the ignorance and debate that exist in the medical field as to what causes the disease that leads to these emergencies.

The sudden death trend is an alarming one in Nigeria that should be declared a national emergency in my view. Looks like 2 in every 3 deaths this days are sudden.

Personally I'm taking the time to know the cause of the disease that eventually leads to this emergencies and also taking steps that could likely help prevent things from getting so bad, and I think the time has come for each and everyone to begin doing the same. Because I'm not a medical professional, I cannot recommend what people should or shouldn't do to reduce their risk, however, I'll gladly share materials that can educate people on lifestyle choices that can help them.

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