It was announced that the age of stroke victims in the Virgin Islands is getting younger and younger, and representatives of the BVI Health Services Authority said that they are concerned about this disquieting occurrence.
Dr. June Samuel, Chief of Medical Staff at the Peebles Hospital in her remarks at the 6 October launch of the new Tele Stroke Service at Peebles Hospital explained that in the BVI there is a high number of chronic non-communicable disease cases.
She explained: “60 percent of our population has risk factors that predispose them to chronic non-communicable disease. We have individuals who are overweight, we have individuals who have hypertension, diabetes, or a combination of both and a complication of both.”
It was therefore explained that these risk factors have resulted in more stroke cases turning up at the Peebles Hospital. “We have been seeing at Peebles Hospital over the years an increasing number of persons who have been presented to the Hospital with symptoms of stroke either in evolution or completed,” Dr. Samuels mentioned.
She reported that in 2011, a total of 12 stroke cases presented to the emergency room, while in 2012 there were nine cases. There was mentioned of a figure for 2013, but it was noted that for the first half of 2014 there has been nine cases.
However, most troubling to the BVI Health Services Authority is the age of the stroke victims, which reportedly is getting younger: “I think the other disturbing trend we have noted is that the age of those hospitalised at the emergency room is getting younger, and younger. Our youngest stroke victim to date has been 22 years old. The effects on individuals at a young age having stroke and being disabled cost the country as a whole,” Dr. Samuel stated.