The civic-run KEM hospital in Parel now has a comprehensive advanced stroke center that will offer faster treatment to patients thus reducing the damage caused by the disabling condition. While a majority of patients suffering from stroke reach the hospital late, leaving little opportunity for treatment, the new state of the art center with an advanced machine will offer interventions up to 24 hours in select patients. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. In case of a clot, the time window to administer a clot-dissolving injection is 4.5 hours. “But a majority of patients do not realize that they have suffered from a stroke and never reach the hospital within the golden hour,” said Dr Sangeeta Ravat, head of the neurology department at KEM Hospital. The neurology department at KEM gets 8 to 10 cases of acute strokes every day.
The hospital has received nearly 3500 stroke patients in the past two years but only 54 of them could get clot-dissolving injections as they reached within the time window, Rawat said. The new center, inaugurated on Wednesday by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and other dignitaries, thus offers more hope as it would be able to cater to patients within a 24-hour window of getting a stroke. “Using the new Biplane DSA neuro machine, we will be able to get a clear and better picture of the clot and the vessel. With its help, we will be able to reach the blocked vessel in the brain, using a wire, catheter and stent to extract the clot with the help of an aspirator,” said neurosurgeon Dr Nitin Dange. Through the comprehensive approach they aim to reduce the ‘hospital door to needle’ time to 30 minutes, Dange added.
Various departments from the hospital including neurology, neurosurgery, medicine, radiology, anesthesia and physiotherapy will work together in tandem to ensure that patients get faster treatment without any delays at the hospital level. The team of doctors will ensure that the patients undergo MRI and CT scans on priority basis. “The key is that the patients should reach immediately at the onset of stroke so that the damage is minimal. There has to be awareness about the symptoms so that patients and relatives react fast,” said Dange. This is the first such facility in the public sector that will make the treatment available for patients at a very low cost. While the clot-dissolving injection in the public hospital costs between ₹20,000 to ₹40,000, the interventional procedure to remove the blood clot would cost anywhere between ₹1.5 to ₹2 lakh. – The Hindu