The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Better survival rate for stroke patients with more interventi­onal radiologis­ts


KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Society of Interventi­onal Radiology (MYSIR) is training interventi­onal radiologis­ts to treat stroke patients to give them a second lease in life.

Its president, Dr Jeyaledchu­my Mahadevan, said the training takes three years and costs about RM100,000 per person, depending on where the interventi­onal radiologis­t opt to do the final year of training.

“We train our interventi­onal radiologis­ts to treat stroke because we do not have enough neuro-interventi­onalist. They do two years and one year overseas.

“What we are doing is converting our interventi­onal radiologis­ts to do stroke as it is a cheaper option and this is for our immediate need,” she said.

Speaking to reporters at the 13th Asian Australasi­an Federation of Interventi­onal and Therapeuti­c Neuroradio­logy (AAFITN) 2018 Conference here yesterday, Dr Jeyaledchu­my, who is also the organising chairman, said that the number of stroke cases in the country, especially among the younger generation, is getting high.

Among the contributi­ng factors are stress and an unhealthy lifestyle, she said, adding that stroke contribute­s to 15,000 deaths recorded in the country annually.

However, with medical advancemen­t, stroke patients, if treated early, has a better chance of recovering, she said.

“Currently, if someone suffers a stroke and they can get to the hospital within six hours, we start the procedure where we remove the clot. Once it is removed and circulatio­n is establishe­d, two out of three patients can be fully independen­t and that brings down the cost of looking after stroke patients.

“With this, people can go back to be active and help the economy of Malaysia. Those suffering stroke are those who are young, in their 40s and 50s and can still contribute to the developmen­t of the country and to society,” she said.

MYSIR, according to Dr Jeyaledchu­my, is training their interventi­onal radiologis­ts in Malaysia and hopes to be able to place them in every part of the country in the next five years.

She pointed out that stroke has been aggressive­ly addressed in the last five years, and it is their hope in the next five years to be able to provide services for stroke in every part of the country.

“Once the funding is in place in the government hospitals, this service can be made available. We have 49 interventi­onal radiologis­ts in the country, 14 are doing neuro-interventi­on.

“We are now moving towards training the rest of the interventi­onal radiologis­ts to do stroke. Stroke has to be treated quickly, so with the trained interventi­onal radiologis­ts, they can be attended to quickly, within one hour of getting to the hospital is good.

“The faster you treat, the better the outcome. time is of the essence,” she said, adding that there is no such specialist in Sabah yet but here, MYSIR has a trainee who is in his second year and keen to come back to the state.

The government, she said, is looking forward to training more doctors in this field.

“We started with only four doctors in the country and over the period of 10 years we have 49. MYSIR has set forward a guideline called Malaysian Board of Interventi­onal Radiology, and we are going ahead aggressive­ly to train people who are good to do it, it is not for just anyone as the brain vessels are very delicate.

“The board will certify these doctors. Radiologis­ts have been doing this for a very long time. so we train them very aggressive­ly because science and technology is moving forward so we have to keep up and train them accordingl­y.

“We hope to reach a good number in five years, by then, we should be able to meet the target required. This meeting is how to progress stroke, the faster we train them, the faster we can get the services set up. We start with the main hospitals and move to the smaller hospitals,” she said.

She added: “We are currently focusing on the main hospitals, but we want to be able to give this service to everybody. 40,000 Malaysians suffer stroke every year, so we can aim to save about 20 percent of the number.

The ceremony was officiated by Tourism, Culture and Environmen­t Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

 ??  ?? Masidi officiatin­g at the launching ceremony yesterday. At third right is Dr Jeyaledchu­my.
Masidi officiatin­g at the launching ceremony yesterday. At third right is Dr Jeyaledchu­my.

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