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Badr Al Samaa Group of Hospitals, in its pursuit of imparting medical education on regular basis, conducted CME on Acute Stroke for the doctors of Muscat and surrounding regions which became a very valuable opportunity for the medical fraternity to learn about this critical subject and establish a right approach in handling stroke patients, a time bound emergency. 

Continuing Medical Education (CME) titled “Stroke – Advances in Management of Acute Stroke”, presented by Dr. Shaji Abraham (MD, DM), Specialist Neurologist was organized at Sheraton Oman Hotel. More than 120 doctors from various Hospitals, Clinics, Medical Centres, etc, attended the event. The CME was accredited by Oman Medical Specialty Board (OMSB). 

Dr. Poornima Kabad, Specialist Dermatologist in her welcome address welcomed and thanked the grand assembly of the doctors present for the CME. She reiterated the commitment of Badr Al Samaa in imparting medical education through CME’s and other medical programs. She expressed her gratitude on behalf of the group to all the doctors for extending their support which was very critical for the journey of Badr Al Samaa from a polyclinic in 2002 to becoming Oman’s largest private healthcare group. Dr. Poornima said, “Badr Al Samaa is known for delivering quality and patient friendly services at affordable rates.”

Dr. P A Mohammed, Managing Director, Badr Al Samaa in his address expressed his gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said for his vision and leadership in transforming healthcare scenario of the region. He said, “A lot has been done on the awareness on acute heart attack; it is time to focus on equally critical subject – acute stroke”. He added further, “We are focused on continuously upgrading the facilities to treat stroke patients, setting up of one more advanced CT scan in Barka Hospital is one step in this way. Currently we have advanced CT scans available at Ruwi, Al Khoud and now in Barka. We are positively looking forward to start Neuro ICU in Ruwi and Al Khoud Hospitals to do best possible care for stroke patients”. 

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. V T Vinod, Managing Director, Badr Al Samaa welcomed all the doctors present. He said, “Knowing about the seriousness of brain diseases we at Badr Al Samaa always made it sure that we have the best neurologists and best neurology diagnostic and treatment facilities available”. He further added, “Time is brain. Badr Al Samaa as Group is committed to do justice with the stroke patients coming to our hospitals by proactively attending them and giving them access to the best doctors and technology”. 

Dr. Benny Panakkal, Senior Consultant –Interventional Cardiologist introduced Dr. Shaji Abraham. He appreciated him for his rich educational background and immense experience in the field of Neurology.  He said Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD’s) are the leading causes of death in the world. According to WHO, in 2017 out of total CVD deaths across the world 7.4 million died of Coronary Heart Diseases and 6.7 million due to Stroke. 75% of such deaths happened in low and middle income families. WHO in the same report quoted that in Oman, 2359 deaths happened because of CVD’s which constituted 22.84% of the total deaths. He said thrombolytic therapy is the gold standard to dissolve blockages in brain. And like Cardiac Intervention is done, now the Neuro Intervention is also possible. Dr Benny Panakkal moderated the scientific session and it was very interactive and witnessed good response

Dr. Shaji in his presentation on “Advances in Management of Acute Stroke” said that stroke remains one of the most important causes of disability and death worldwide.   In stroke, the best outcomes depend on getting the treatment as early as possible. He explained FAST approach for recognizing persons having a stroke, which becomes very helpful in getting immediate medical care and treatment. He also discussed the use of National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) to assess the stroke patients. This will help in calculating the severity of the stroke and to decide whether the patient is eligible for reperfusion therapy.  The window period for pharmacological thrombolytic treatment is 3 to 4.5 hours, beyond which, it is not effective and harmful effects can occur. He said CT scan is the imaging modality of choice in acute stroke, due to wide availability, high sensitivity in identifying hemorrhage and short imaging time. Approximately 30% of the strokes happen due to blockages in large vessels which can be easily identified using CT Angiogram. These patients should be considered for endovascular treatment.  During his presentation, he laid multi-dimensional focus on scientific approach of handling stroke patients. His presentation was well appreciated by the audience. 

Dr. Shafeek Muhammed, Group CEO, in his closing emphasized that Badr Al Samaa Group has a vision to establish the network of ambulances and hospitals with CT Scanners and highly qualified and trained nurses and doctors in the Department of Emergency Medicine to early diagnose and safely transfer eligible stroke patient for Thrombolitic Therapy and admissions in dedicated Neuro ICU’s. He assured that the General Practitioners and Internists across the Muscat region can use the technology like Whatsapp and Facebook to getting second opinion from our expert Neurologists. 

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