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UAE: Man in semi-coma springs back to life after surgery

Staff Report/Ras Al Khaimah
Filed on April 9, 2021
Dr Tinku Jose Kurisinkal with the patient and a staff member of RAK Hospital.

Patient is fully conscious and is able to walk with support following difficult medical procedure.


When a 45-year-old Ras Al Khaimah-based Indian businessman experienced an episode of dizziness and imbalance, little did he know that it was a prelude to a rare, massive cerebellar stroke he was to face two days later.

The cruel, life-threatening stroke could have taken his life or disabled him forever, but he was saved in time by a timely surgery performed on him by team of doctors at RAK Hospital.

“Brinner Karunakaran had suffered a massive cerebellar stroke hence it was a medical emergency. Besides, the surgery was extremely challenging as the patient was in a semi-comatose state with persistent high blood pressure as well as high intracranial pressure along with cerebral edema (brain swelling). This coupled with some other complications such as hydrocephalus (water collection) could have resulted in death.

"Usually, such patients have very small chances of survival. However, RAK Hospital team of doctors immediately sprung into action and performed two difficult surgical procedures, subsequently a tracheostomy was done to aid his breathing”, commented Dr Tinku Jose Kurisinkal, consultant neurosurgeon at RAK Hospital who led the team of doctors working on the case.

Elaborating on the surgery, Dr Kurisinkal said: “The first procedure known as suboccipital craniectomy carried out at the base of the brain involved removal of a part of the skull followed by a procedure to repair the outer covering of the brain. The second procedure involved putting an external ventricular drain to reduce accumulation of fluid.”

Currently, the patient is fully conscious, oriented and is able to walk with support while all his vital signs including the blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation are also normal now. Moreover, he is able to talk and is communicating well with his family members.

According to Dr. Sweta Adatia, medical director and neurologist at RAK Hospital, said: “Apt intervention either by a clot busting drug or surgery for a hemorrhage or raised intracranial pressure is highly essential to save the brain, the master operator of the human body”.

“Certainly the prompt and early surgery, as well as the excellent team work of the team of doctors involving neurosurgeon, neurologist, anesthesiologist, intensivist, ENT specialist, nurses, physiotherapists and other staff on this case has helped the patient resume near normal functional independence within just days of the procedure”, added Dr. Adatia.

Thanking the team of doctors at RAK Hospital, Shima, the patient’s wife said, “I cannot thank the team of doctors, nurses and everyone at RAK Hospital enough for saving my husband’s life and providing the best care and support. I am indebted and feel truly blessed that we received the right treatment, at the right time and by an expert team.”

“The fact that we could bring back the sole bread winner of the family to life after such a fatal incident demonstrates and reinforces that our proficient team of doctors at the hospital are very well equipped to handle even the most complicated medical emergencies. This case in particular was extraordinary since a cerebellar stroke is an unusual condition that accounts for less than 10 percent of all strokes and can be life-threatening”, stated Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director of RAK Hospital.

What is a cerebellar stroke

When a cerebellar stroke occurs, there is interruption of blood flow to a part of brain leading to a series of events that lead to brain injury.

This happens when a blood vessel is blocked or bleeding, causing complete interruption to a portion of the cerebellum; common symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, double vision and tremors.

The symptoms from a cerebellar stroke happen suddenly and can be mistaken for other conditions because they appear non-specific and thus, get ignored in many cases.

Serious complications may include swelling of the brain, which can lead to compression of the brain within the skull, potentially causing further damage to the cerebellum, the brainstem, or other regions of the brain, affecting vital functions such as breathing, heart-rate etc.

There may also be swelling or excessive bleeding which can interfere with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spine, causing a buildup of fluid, a condition called hydrocephalus.

As a result, one could suffer brain herniation, severe brain damage, semi-coma, coma or often resulting in death.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com





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