The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Neurosurgery and Spine surgery consultant Dr Thaer Darwish said, “Just as we must be careful in not having our head hit the floor when we fall, never ignore the times when (either by accident or not have our head suffer from shock.)”
Whatever form of distress or strain the head sustains, “never say it is okay and everything will turn out right. Just go consult the doctor so that immediate interventions will be (done),” he added.
The neuro-surgeon who extensively practised in Germany in the last 18 years gave this advice on Monday when interviewed about a recent case he handled at the Prime Hospital involving a sexagenarian Indian businessman who had incurred a ruptured blood vessel last May while taking a bath in his home in Dubai.
Medical records revealed the man was already comatose when the ambulance delivered him at the emergency room a bit more than an hour after the bathroom incident.
“His wife (doused) water on him when she saw him unconscious on the floor. He revived but fell unconscious again (before retiring to bed) an hour after he slipped on the bathroom floor. He could not be awakened. That was the time they sought assistance from the hospital and at the emergency room, the doctor had noticed that his right pupil was already dilated. That was a bad sign. It meant the brain was already (going dead).”
A computerised tomography (CT) scan was conducted soonest which had revealed the man was already suffering from severe hemorrhaging caused by a ruptured blood vessel within the skull and the brain.
The bathroom slip caused a blood vessel to break which resulted in the “compression of the blood on the brain.”
When Darwish arrived at the hospital 20 minutes after the alert, the patient’s two pupils were already dilated. To save his life, the necessary two-hour brain hematoma surgery was completed “to remove the blood from the brain.”
The pupils’ dilation signaled a much worsening condition: “A patient may die within a few to 30 minutes if the severe massive brain injury caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the head were not immediately (addressed).”
Darwish said this particular medical case was more complicated since the patient had been suffering from chronic heart and liver problems taking the necessary medications such as blood thinners.
The patient was released from the intensive care unit of the hospital after three weeks and after a second brain surgery was completed due to another massive accumulation of blood in his head three days after the first one.
Darwish said: “He remained unconscious after the first. Another CT scan showed (he was suffering again from massive blood injury and so the blood continually pressed on his brain due to the medications for his chronic conditions.)”
“You see, most patients of head traumas die from massive brain injury because of the pressure on the brain from the massive effect of hemorrhage. So be very careful not to traumatize your head. A blood vessel may break,” he said.
Good for the patient. His family did not tarry from seeking medical assistance and consented to the required immediate surgical operation.
Darwish said the patient is currently undergoing extensive rehabilitation programme consisting of “cognitive, physical, psychological and speech therapies.”
Darwish finally warned: “Most of the deaths at home are due to falling down, the head (suffers impact) but we only ignore the incident.”
“Do not ignore. Just go seek a doctor. We know the signs like nausea, vomiting, weakness. There will be instances of low risk and high risk. Remember, (there are only two life lines), the brain and the heart. If one of them (malfunctions) severely, that’s it.”
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