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An interview
with
Dr. Ajith Goonetilleke, Head of
Neurology at Mafraq Hospital,
owned and operated by Abu
Dhabi Health
Services Company
PJSC (SEHA)
GOING TO THE
RIGHT PLACE
AT THE RIGHT
TIME WOULD SAVE
A LIFE FROM STROKE
60
Let’s talk a bit
about Stroke,
what people to
know about stroke
and the signs that
they should be
aware of?
A stroke is the clinical
manifestation of a disturbance
in the blood supply to the
brain, and this could be either
due to a blockage in the
blood vessel which prevents
proper fow, or could be
due to a rupture, causing
a haemorrhage from the
blood vessel
.
Around 85% of
strokes are due to blockage,
and around 15% are due to
ruptured vessels
.
We have a public awareness
campaign which we started
in 2009, to raise awareness
about some of the stroke
symptoms, so that when
someone experiences such
symptoms they would come
to the hospital immediately
.
Te awareness program is
titled “Act F
.
A
.
S
.
T
.
:
‘F’ is for
‘Face’ problems; if the person
is asked to smile but one side
of the face is loose, ‘A’ stands
for ‘Arm’ problems; if they
are asked to raise both their
arms one of the arms drops
down, ‘S’ stands for ‘Speech’
problems; if they were unable
to speak properly, and ‘T’
means that if you experience
any of these symptoms it’s
‘Time’ to call an ambulance
and come in straight away
.
Tese are the most common 3
symptoms, and a lot of these
public awareness campaigns
started in the mid 1990’s
when it came to our attention
that most of the public didn’t
know even one symptom of
stroke, especially then in the
mid 1990’s when we started
having acute treatments that
if given quickly could help
limit brain damage, so we had
to make the public aware of
these symptoms so that they
would come straight away to
get the treatment
.
Tis “Act
F
.
A
.
S
.
T
.
” program has been
going around the world, and
we introduced it in Abu Dhabi
in 2009
.
Other symptoms might
include double vision,
dizziness, vertigo, or sensory
changes, like weakness or
numbness in face, arm, or
leg
.
If you get any of these
symptoms, this might most
probably be related to a
blockage in the blood fow to
the brain
.
If you’re having a
severe headache or vomiting
with these symptoms, then
this might suggest there’s a
haemorrhage; bleeding in the
blood vessels to the brain
.
IF
you experience any of these
symptoms you should come
to the hospital right away,
and this is because there are
new treatments available for
blocked arteries; we can give a
drug that would break down
the clot and get the blood
fowing to the brain again, and
this would minimize brain cell
damage during the stroke
.
We did this in 2009 when
we introduced a 24
-
hour
thrombolysis service in Mafraq,
so that patients can come in
whenever they experience
any stroke symptoms and be
treated right away
.