Immediate treatment vital for stroke patients, warn experts
Every year, between 7,000 and 8,000 people suffer from a stroke across the UAE.
Immediate stroke treatment procedures are vital to saving lives and reducing the impact of permanent disabilities, according to leading neurologists at Boehringer Ingelheim's Second Stroke Academy.
Boehringer Ingelheim's Angels initiative aims to improve the treatment of stroke providing doctors with the necessary tools, resources and support necessary to optimise and set up acute stroke networks and develop stroke centres.
According to statistics, stroke is increasingly becoming a major health problem across the Middle East and North Africa, with projections that stroke-related deaths will nearby double by 2020. In the UAE, 50 per cent of stroke patients are below the age of 45, compared to the global average of 80 per cent of stroke patients being above the age of 65. Every year, 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke. Nearly six million die and another five million are left permanently disabled. Stroke is the second leading cause of disability. In the UAE, one person suffers from a stroke every hour. Every year, between 7,000 and 8,000 people suffer from a stroke across the UAE. Stroke is considered the leading cause of death and, the second leading cause of disability.
At the event on Sunday, neurologists called for correct protocols to be put in place in hospitals, as they are extremely crucial to the management and treatment of stroke and can actually save lives - and in some cases see patients leave the facility with minimal disability. When a stroke patient arrives in the hospital, the maximum time from entrance to the administration of treatment should not be longer than an hour. The patient arrives at the emergency room, is sent to the triage nurse who examines the patient and, upon confirmation, provides the treatment. The patient is taken for a laboratory test, the core team begins action, performs a CT scan and finally, the injection is administered.
"We urge all hospitals to continue to work to develop dedicated stroke units with an objective to saving patients' lives and ensuring that treatment is carried out within a four hour time frame. Almost 8,000 people are admitted to hospitals across the UAE every year because of a stroke and the average patient is aged 45," said Dr. Suhail Abdulla Al-Rukn, Neurology Consultant and Stroke Specialist, Neurology Department at Rashid Hospital-Dubai Health Authority, who established the first certified stroke unit in the Mena region and outside Europe, said.
The Mena Stroke initiative 'Making every second count', a subdivision of the global Angels programme dedicated for the Mena region and managed by a group of renewed neurologists in the region, has three major objectives - focusing on accelerating the decreasing door to needle times - which is the interval between patient's arrival to the hospital and starting the treatment; support in establishing a dedicated stroke unit in hospitals which will directly lead to faster and better patient outcomes and raising as well as increasing the awareness of proper stroke management amongst the public and healthcare professionals.
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