Filipina national with bleeding brain gets fresh lease of life
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Nevin Al Sukari – Abu Dhabi – Ela with doctor.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
An one-and-a-half hour procedure on the brain has given a new lease in life to a Filipina from Dubai, rushed to the hospital shortly before the close of 2020.
“This is one of the many cases we are extremely proud of. Ela had fully recovered,” Al Zahra Hospital (Dubai)-Emergency Services director Dr. Hussain Al Rahma said on Tuesday.
“She did not require any post-surgery therapy treatments,” Interventional radiologist Dr. Amr Kabakebji said.
Recalling, Ela who preferred to only be identified by her first name, said the last thing she knew was that she was going through a nagging headache to the point of being so excruciating: “And being scared. After that, everything went dark. I woke up not knowing where I was. The doctors saved my life. They made my miracle happen.”
Al Rahma said what happened to Ela was “sudden brain aneurysm,” which, according to the mayoclinic.org is a “bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain (that) looks like a berry hanging on a stem.” When raptured, brain bleeding occurs that may cost the patient’s life.
Kabakebji detailed that a Computed Tomographic Scan had revealed that Ela, upon arrival at the hospital, was already experiencing brain bleeding. The only solution was the “Endovascular or Aneurysm Coiling,” whereby the blood flow caused by the burst blood bulge is stopped by the insertion of a stent through an artery in the brain.
Al Rahma said: “Raptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50 per cent of cases with 15 per cent of people dying before reaching the hospital. Of those who survive, 66 per cent suffer permanent neurological deficits. The team must make the patient fully recover.”
Gulf Today received a negative answer to the enquiry if Ela had a history of chronic conditions and illnesses: “It happened suddenly. She was rushed to the hospital due to a cluster of headaches, thunderclap headaches that did not go away.”
While Ela had fully recovered, Neurology consultant Dr. Mona Thakre said the medical team had to provide her blood thinners since an offshoot of the emergency operation was the rare complication of “Left Sigmoid Sinus Thrombosis” or blood clot arising from the stent insertion.
Ela was discharged two weeks after her near-death experience.
According to the mayoclinic.org, causes of sudden brain aneurysm have yet to be known. However, contributory factors have been traced to inherited connective tissue issues, polycystic kidney problems, family history, cigarette smoking, hypertension, drug abuse particularly cocaine, and excessive alcohol.
Last year, a rare genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue was discovered to be the root cause of the near-death severe cardiac condition of a 25-year-old expatriate in the UAE.
Three-year Abu Dhabi resident Muhammad Arshad from Pakistan would hopefully be discharged after three days.
The Madrasa teacher had been moved from the Critical Care Unit of the Burjeel Hospital in the capital, to his own room, already mobile, and under rehabilitation therapy.
Consultant cardiologist Dr. Walid Shaker said on Tuesday: “What is important now is that with cases like this coming to the fore, the public gets and is educated about these types of genetic issues.”
The genetic problem, Marfan Syndrome, was traced to have triggered Arshad’s sudden chest pain, and was emergency-diagnosed with the life-threatening Acute Aortic Dissection.
“It would help people in realising that hyperelasticity characteristics are not always normal but might be as a result of a certain medical condition such as Marfan Syndrome as in this case,” said Shaker.
He explained that the hyperelasticity happens as Marfan Syndrome, arising from genetic mutations, damages the “body’s connective tissue which holds all the cells, organs and tissues together and makes them hyperelastic. This leads to the dilation of the walls of their blood vessels and dissection (tearing up) occurs.”
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