On June 2, 2015, Dr. Khalid Anwar (Consultant of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Amana Healthcare, Abu Dhabi) was invited to talk about Stroke and help spread awareness around the issue, its symptoms and the importance of identifying these symptoms in the right time frame which aids the recovery process. The program was a part of a segment called ‘Eye on Health’ on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM Radio. On Nov 17, 2015, the Radio Show’s presenter – Suzanne Radford, interviewed Mary Roberts, a survivor of stroke and Helen Holdroyd, Stroke Coordinator at Amana Healthcare. Mary had reached out to the radio station as listening to the segment that aired back in June with Dr. Anwar had helped save her life.
During the interview with Mary, Helen Holdroyd shared a glaring statistic – that in every hour, 1 person in the UAE suffers a stroke. Mary had faced some difficulty in being diagnosed on the day she experienced the first signs and symptoms of stroke, which in her case was later found to be a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or a “mini-stroke”. Dr. Anwar was available during the interview from the UK over a live call to speak with Mary about her own experience. They discussed the link between dehydration and stroke and how research on that link had been made available in February 2015 during a conference by the American Stroke Association.
Another key point highlighted from Mary’s own experience was the lack of a Post-Stroke Rehabilitation programs in the region. Dr. Anwar mentioned that Amana Healthcare was one of the first hospitals to have a specialized rehabilitation program for individuals who have suffered a stroke with the help of a dedicated team of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists. And, such a dedicated program allows for care and rehabilitation of stroke patients which goes beyond the medical and clinical care a provided when a stroke patient is brought in to a hospital initially. Dr. Anwar also recommended providing preventative care to avoid a re-occurrence of stroke as the patient becomes pre-disposed to the risk of a second incident.
Helen also emphasized on the importance of the time-window in which the patient needs to be brought in to the hospital when the stroke occurs. She advised a period of 3 hours, within which a stroke patient needs to undergo a brain scan to assess whether the stroke was a caused by a clot or a bleed in the brain, as clot busting medication can be administered effectively in that period. Beyond that time frame however, the medication tends to have less of an effect.
Mary expressed gratitude towards Dr. Khalid Anwar, for sharing information on stroke on the radio show, which in hindsight seemed to have helped her diagnosis. She also was happy to learn that a support group with Amana Healthcare as the main vehicle was in the works for helping stroke patients navigate options for post-stroke rehabilitation.
Listen to the segment with Mary Roberts, Helen Holdroyd & Dr. Khalid Anwar here
Listen to the segment with Dr. Anwar from June 2015 here