A forty-six year old male patient hailing from India was saved by an ‘intravenous thrombolysis’ procedure performed at GMC Hospital, Ajman, on Sunday, 15thNovember 2015. The procedure was performed by Dr. Mohamed Hamdy, Fellow of Neuro-intervention from Zurich University Hospital, Switzerland, who is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Gulf Medical University and Specialist A Neurology at GMC Hospital, Ajman.
The patient was brought in at around 8:45 am on Sunday with acute stroke, indicated by paralysis of the right side, almost loss of vision in the right eye, difficulty in understanding words and slurred speech. The patient was also found to have high BP and high blood sugar.
As soon as the patient was brought to GMC Hospital, the hospital’s Emergency Response team swung into action. They performed preliminary investigations, collected blood samples and checked blood glucose. The team contacted Dr. Mohamed, who at the time was driving to work, for his opinion. Dr. Mohamed advised CT scan of the brain, which was done in just 15 minutes. He reached the hospital soon and observed that the CT showed ‘Occipital Infarction’ and ‘Small Basal Ganglia Infarction’ in the brain.
Dr. Mohamed shifted the patient to the ICU, for the required blood tests before administering the injection. As soon as Thrombolysis was performed by administering the IV rtPA, the patient’s blood sugar and blood pressure fell towards normal. Ten minutes after the injection, the patient started moving his right leg normally, and said that his vision was getting better. The patient was then placed in observation for 24 hours, where he showed excellent improvement. A follow-up CT scan later showed no signs of hemorrhage, and there were no complications from the injection.
The patient, who works as a labourer can now return to normal life. Dr. Mohamed said that the patient was brought in at the early stage of stroke, which was an advantage. “He had started showing symptoms at 7 am, and was brought in at around 8:45 am. The fact that he was brought within the time window of 3.5 to 4.5 hours was an important advantage,” he explained.One of the advantages of this treatment is that the procedure takes only a short while; about one hour. Moreover it is safe, with minimal complications. According to Dr. Mohamed, in case of a stroke, it is crucial that the patient be immediately rushed to the hospital. He added that Intravenous Thrombolysis is a rare treatment in the UAE, and that GMC Hospital was the only one in the Northern Emirates to offer this treatment. “This advanced life-saving treatment of ‘Intravenous Thrombolysis’ is a specialty of GMC Hospital, Ajman. We would soon be starting a full-fledged ‘Stroke Unit’ at the hospital,” he said.