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Save Brain Initiative’ becomes reality, saving lives in valley’s peripheral hospitals
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Save Brain Initiative’ becomes reality, saving lives in valley’s peripheral hospitals

Post by M Peerzada on Sunday, March 5, 2023

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Srinagar, Mar04: ‘Save Brain Initiative’ of Health Department Kashmir has been started in rural areas to prevent brain damage in patients before they are shifted to tertiary care health institutions.
Health officials said the initiative, which is yet to be officially inaugurated, has been started from district hospitals that are equipped with computed tomography (CT) facility to manage stroke patients.
Experts say early treatment of acute ischemic stroke within 4.5 hours with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator reduces neurological impairment and disability.
Dr Showkat Hussain, Nodal Officer of the Initiative said there are two types of strokes hemorrhagic stroke and ischemic stroke. He said most of the strokes reported in India are ischemic strokes.
“In ischemic stroke, brain cells begin to die in minutes and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications. It paralyzes a person and he becomes dependent and drains people economically,” he said.
“In ischemic stroke there is an injection and if that is given within 4.5 hours it can prevent not only deaths but also disability. The injection has two benefits it save patients and prevent chances of disability,” Dr Showkat said.
Earlier, such patients would face trouble in reaching to hospitals and many patients especially those from peripheries would die on way to hospitals.
Dr Showkat who is Consultant Neurology Health Services Kashmir said the health department worked on the idea and procured medicines that are costly in private pharma shops.
“We have now procured these injections for hospitals where CT scan facilities are available and these hospitals will cater to the surrounding areas during emergencies,” he said.
Dr Showkat said over the past five months doctors of district hospitals have been trained at Regional Health and Family Welfare Institute Dhobiwan Tangmarg on how to treat a stroke.
Under the Save Brain Initiative, a WhatsApp group on the pattern of Save Heart Kashmir has been created in which senior doctors give their suggestions live round the clock.
Notably, top neurologists of the two tertiary care hospitals Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences and Shri Maharaja Hari Singh will be made available for consultation on the phone. “In case of need of suggestions of specialist doctors are sought who reply and call quickly during day and night,” he said.
The initiative will also lessen burden on tertiary care hospitals and has come as a healing touch for patients who were otherwise only shifted to Srinagar hospitals.
He said initiative was only possible under the guidance of Administrative Secretary, Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department, Bhupinder Kumar and Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather.
Spokesperson DHSK, Dr Mir Mushtaq said after the successful launch of Save Heart Initiative, the Save Brain Initiative was started at the directorate and it is being augmented further.
“The initiative will provide early treatment to the stroke patients within the critical time window to prevent damage to the brain and thereby disability,” he said.
“It is the first such initiative in the whole India in the peripheral health sector. Doctors have been trained in stroke thrombolysis,” Mir said.
He said within some it will become at par with the Save Heart Initiative. “This will help a long way to mitigate treatment of stroke patients and patients will have a good outcome, especially those who are thrombolysed early,” he said.
“Doctor of hospitals having CT scan facilities available are trained. Once CT Scans are installed in all hospitals this program will move further in survival of patients. There are some hospitals that don’t have CT and they are in pipeline,” he said.
On 03 March, the health department has constituted a team of officers/doctors who have been tasked to visit all district and sub-district hospitals starting from SDH Kupwara on March 07 to conduct a survey. The team will do a district-wise survey regarding the stroke and Thrombolysis program.
The team includes Dr Jehanzaib Tanki, Deputy Director Dentistry, DHSK, Dr Showkat Hassan (DM Neurology), Nodal Officer, Stroke/Thrombolysis, Dr Irshad Nehvi, Consultant Radiology JLNM Hospital and Dr Mir Waseem Physician DH Baramulla.

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