Bet­ter sur­vival rate for stroke pa­tients with more in­ter­ven­tional ra­di­ol­o­gists

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

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.

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