Dubai: Home care nurse saves cancer patient's life after midnight emergency

The patient was fighting oropharyngeal cancer

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 20 Aug 2022, 3:33 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 Aug 2022, 6:41 PM

Home care services are essential for elderly people who are chronically ill or recovering after their surgery. Having a home nurse by bedside turned out to be a lifeline for an Arab patient with cancer in his pharynx as he was recovering from a tracheostomy – a surgery to create a hole in the windpipe to assist in breathing.

By midnight, the 70-year-old Jordanian expat’s oxygen saturation level dropped to alarming levels and his vital signs were poor. He was sinking but Joel Prem Kumar, an experienced nurse of Aster@Home, Dubai, quickly responded by calling the ambulance. Meanwhile, he tried to revive the patient by giving CPR, an emergency lifesaving procedure, until the ambulance arrived at the home in Deira.

“The patient was fighting oropharyngeal cancer. He had just gotten discharged from the hospital. Since the doctors had performed a tracheostomy, it was mandatory to monitor his oxygen saturation levels and vitals continuously. One night his condition worsened. His oxygen saturation levels went critically low. He fell unconscious. I tried to wake him up, but he was not responding. I immediately called an ambulance. Meanwhile, I started giving him CPR. Fortunately, we were able to take him to the hospital immediately and save his life,” Kumar, nursing lead, Aster@Home, recollected.

The ambulance arrived in 10 minutes – crucial time as Kumar tirelessly continued giving CPR. The patient was rushed to the hospital where critical care doctors revived his life.

Dr Rinelle Sanaani
Dr Rinelle Sanaani

Marking the World Senior Citizen’s Day, Dr Rinelle Sanaani, general practitioner, Aster@Home, pointed out that it wasn’t an isolated case of a home nurse saving a life.

“Many elderly patients are supported by a home care nursing team at their houses. These nurses offer round-the-clock support to them. Their timely responses and experience in handling emergency situations save many lives. They are the unsung heroes in the care-delivery system in the UAE.”

Dr Sanaani noted that demand for home care services has been soaring since the start of the pandemic.

“Elderly people find it difficult to travel to a hospital and consult a doctor. Especially those who are bed-ridden or affected by any form of chronic illnesses. We offer round-the-clock services to people who require any sort of medical attention. At present, we cater to patients who require home ICU care, dialysis, general health check-up, physio, emergency care, and a lot more.”

Dr Sanaani underlined that this summer, many calls seeking services were from people who wanted their elderly parents to be left in safe hands as they travel.

“Many people flew abroad during the summer after a hiatus of more than two years. But their elderly parents had to be at home. During this period, we served our senior citizens well and delivered their medical requirements including, general health check-up, dialysis, physio, and other services.”

World Senior Citizen’s Day is celebrated on August 21.


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