Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Compared to ages ago, a heart attack sufferer could, in these times, be saved within a 90-minute time frame; but, everyone should be aware and must heed the early signs and symptoms, said an interventional cardiologist.
Dr. Fayaz Shawl has been regularly visiting the UAE from 2005 in between his work as Washington Adventist Hospital (US)-Interventional Cardiology director and George Washington University Clinical professor of Medicine, having assisted Zulekha Hospital set up its first catheterization laboratory and developing this into a highly-advanced Cardiac Care Department complete with the training of specialists and staff, since.
The hospital Interventional Cardiology consultant was interviewed on Monday after the “Cardiac Care Conference” wherein his Dubai and Sharjah-based colleagues discussed how developing technology such as the available
Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement and teamwork have helped them save even the lives of children born with heart problems.
Shawl has 39 years of experience since 1980 with a fellow American, 91, as his oldest patient and UAE-resident Pakistani, 25, in 2005, as his youngest patient.
He said cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain a pressing problem with heart attack having become the number one cause of death worldwide due to diabetes, smoking, hypertension, high lipid/cholesterol levels, and genetics.
“Heart attack happens due to the sudden blockage in (any of the more than 20 arteries) in our body. The symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating. Please do not ignore these. Just call 911. We can nowadays save people when they come early with the symptoms of heart attack. With the attack, the heart muscle is damaged which is irreversible but early treatment can save lives.”
Based on his UAE experience, the ambulance arrives within the eight-minute time frame whose paramedics are knowledgeable and trained well to administer the necessary first aid, quick to transport to the nearest hospital the heart attack victim.
It is a standard that the medical team works within the 90-minute time frame because any minute lost thereafter leads to the worsening condition of the heart muscles: “The prognosis is not good and the patient may die.”
Shawl has been travelling around the world to orient and teach future and practising interventional cardiologists. He said medical teams in all tertiary hospitals are capable to care for the heart attack patient within 40 minutes. The heart attack patient can be saved: “We will puncture the wrist or leg artery which is connected to the heart and through it pass a small catheter under the x-ray and make the dye on the artery that is totally blocked. We open the artery, put a small cage or stent. Within 24 and 48 hours, the patient would be home. He (would be up and about) within a week.”
“But do not ignore the symptoms, Call 911.”
Children observed to be going through shortness of breath should be taken for medical consultations for possible birth defects such as a hole in the heart.
“These children (should be discouraged) from eating high fat, junk food. They (should not be left leading sedentary life such as too much) games (on the console) and the cell phone. They should be encouraged to (engage in exercises).”
Men above 35 who smoke, with high blood pressure alongside all the other risks to CVDs should go for the medical check-up every year.
“It is no longer breast cancer that is the number one cause of death among women worldwide because of awareness programmes. It is now sudden death due to heart attack because women tend to ignore the signs and symptoms.”
Women, specifically in the menopausal bracket and whose lifestyle is demonstrated with the risks to CVDs must also go for the annual check-ups.
Over at the American Hospital in Dubai, a man, 91, with a long-standing history of CVD and who had undergone open-heart surgery with coronary bypass a quarter of a century back is now on his stable condition after his Oct. 16 minimal invasive procedure Transcutaneous Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVI).
Consultant interventional/structural heart specialist Dr. Firas Raouf Alani explained: “TAVI allows the interventional cardiologist with the assistance of the heart surgeon to insert an artificial valve inside the diseased aortic valve through a three to five millimeter incision in the groin area. It is done under local anaesthesia only and takes approximately 60 minutes.
Around 19 teams are taking part in the tournament held in Holy Ramadan since 2011 in the memory of late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Varicose veins – those bulging, twisted red or blue veins that sometimes appear on the legs and feet – may look ugly but nonetheless harmless. The fact is that they can lead to dangerous complications if left untreated.
Medical tourism is a booming global industry, estimates on market size vary but the Patients Without Borders publishing group puts its value at around €60 to €80 billion worldwide, each year,
Featuring world-class recreational activities, a centre specialised for water sports activities, shopping and F&B across 1 km stretch on the south side of the Khorfakkan beach, the new development is just 20 minutes away from Fujairah, 30 minutes from Kalba and 45 minutes from Sharjah city.
The negihbour failed to notice the toddler behind his four-wheel drive and ran over the boy in front of his family’s house in Wasit area.
Emirati Fatima Abdullah Al Mazroui, who was sponsoring 4 needy families and orphans by transferring a monthly sum to their bank accounts, has won Dhs100,000 one of two grand prizes of Al Ansari Exchange's Mobile App promotional campaign.