Moses Espartero Empleo (third from left) and Dr Madhav Rao K (third from right).
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A 65-year-old diabetes mellitus (DM) patient in the capital underwent a successful eye surgery and recovering well.
“It was a complicated case. But he (patient) is recovering well. We wish him a richer life,” said Burjeel Hospital (Abu Dhabi)-Department of Ophthalmology-Vitreous Retina head Dr Madhav Rao.
Rao said Moses Espartero Empleo was rushed to the hospital’s Retina Clinic a little over five months ago or in April, due to blurring vision with the right eye more affected than the left.
“He was getting blind because of bleeding in the eye as a complication of uncontrolled (DM).”
According to hospital records, the Filipino has also been stricken with hypertension and hyperlipidemia—the condition wherein the blood is full of lipids or fats namely cholesterol and triglycerides—and “has been on insulin for 10 years and other medications.”
Empleo’s case was brought to the attention of Gulf Today as the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) held activities under the theme “The Journey to Age Equality” on Tuesday, on the occasion of the United Nations’s (UN) “International Day of the Elderly/Older Persons observed on Oct. 1 each year.
In cooperation with the Community Development Authority, MoHaP organised an event at the Majlis Al Rashidiya of the Senior Citizens Department. MoHaP teams visited the Elderly Nursing Home in Sharjah and Ajman.
In Ras Al Khaimah, MoHaP-Hospitals Sector assistant undersecretary Dr Youssif Al Serkal led a delegation to the Obaidullah Hospital for Elderly and Geriatric Diseases, renamed on Tuesday as Obaidullah Elderly Hospital.
Al Serkal said: “The health of elderly citizens is a top priority for MoHaP. That is why the ministry has made fundamental amendments to the structure of work to provide friendly hospitals for senior citizens.”
“MoHaP also launched exceptional initiatives in recognition of the high status of senior citizens in society. Two of these are the Mobile Healthcare Service and Ownak (Own) Initiative.”
DHA-Seniors Happiness Centre director/geriatrician Dr Salwa Al Suwaidi spearheaded the Our Services…To Better Serve You” elderly forum.
On Tuesday, the UN called on all governments “to stand up now for our elderly.”
It estimated that global elderly population, from age 60, would quickly balloon to 1.4 billion from the 2017 figure of 962 million in the next 10 years or in 2030, overtaking the increase in the number of children above age 10.
Back on the Empleo case, Rao said the sexagenarian did not immediately undergo the necessary cataract surgeries called Phacoemulsification with foldable Intra Ocular Lens and Pars Plana Vitrectomy for his right eye because “he was on blood thinning agents for cardiac reasons.”
“We could not have stopped his medicines and the blood thinning agents. It would have been detrimental to his heart.”
Rao explained Phacoemulsification is the softening of the cataract and breaking this into small pieces prior to extraction “through a small section using ultrasound/sound energy and without stitches.”
Vitrectomy is removing the blood clots in the vitreous cavity in front of the retina.
The dual operation lasted an hour towards the end of September. But only after “complete eye examinations, work up for surgery, and consultations with the internist and cardiologist for a better understanding of his systemic conditions.”
Empleo’s vision improved during the post-operative follow-ups.
Rao performed the additional Pan Retinal Photocoagulation laser under topical anaesthesia for his left eye.
Meanwhile, authors of the “Cataract in Diabetes Mellitus” published in the “World Journal of Diabetes” on March 15, 2019, wrote that more people would be failing in their eyesight in the coming years as the International Diabetes Foundation had estimated that by 2030, DM patients would be at 439 million.
“Cataract surgery will remain important for diabetic patients. Patients with diabetes have multiple issues to be evaluated preoperatively, perio-operatively, and in the post-operative period.”
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