Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has established the ‘Tele-Stroke Programme,’ a new and innovative way of treating stroke patients in the distant areas of the country.
“We have set three satellite centres for stroke treatment; one in Al Khor, another one in Al Wakrah and the other in Sanaya. Patients suffering from stroke in these areas will be provided the treatment instantly through a programme called ‘drip and ship’," disclosed Dr Maher Saqqur, senior consultant, stroke neurologist, Hamad General Hospital, HMC and professor of clinical knowledge in the University of Alberta, Canada.
“It will be too late to bring stroke patients to HGH from far off places such as Al Khor or Al Wakrah as time matters a lot in a stroke case. Every minute, two million neurons die. So these three hot spots will deal with the stroke patients by using the Cerner facility,” Dr Saqqur noted.
“The patients will be CT scanned at one of the satellite centres and I can instantly see the images using the Cerner system over the Internet and diagnosis made. Depending on the images, we will decide if any clot is to be removed and if so, the patient will be shipped to the HGH where we will complete further treatment,” explained the physician.
“This should save us minimum one hour to reach HGH which should save the patient. We have already done the training for the teams in these locations and we will start in next week or so,” he highlighted.
According to Dr Saqqur, the major requirements for the programme are awareness among patients as well as training for medical and paramedic staff.
“At HMC, we receive about 1,600 stroke patients annually. High blood pressure is the major reason for stroke followed by other reasons such as diabetes, overweight, lifestyle issues as well as smoking. We have also started a stroke prevention programme which help people identify the symptoms and get necessary treatment in advance,” described the official.
“We have excellent health facilities in Qatar, better than many of the advanced countries. People must make use of the healthcare facilities for risk factor management. Unfortunately, many of the stroke patients coming to HMC, had neither visited these facilities nor got proper guidance from the physicians. Exercise is the best way to control the lifestyle diseases and control stroke risk,” added the neurosurgeon.
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