Top experts highlight need for comprehensive stroke care in the UAE

Suhail Al Rukn says "Every 30 minutes, a stroke patient is either disabled or suffers from a stroke in the UAE[1]

  

United Arab Emirates, Dubai : On the occasion of World Stroke Day, Dr. Suhail Abdulla Al-Rukn, Neurology Consultant and Stroke Specialist, and President of the Middle East Stroke Management Organization is emphasizing on the importance of implementing immediate stroke prevention and treatment processes so that lives of stroke patients can be saved, and permanent disabilities reduced. 

He said that there is an urgent need to develop more efficient and accurate methods to measure stroke. There is also a significant call to increase public awareness and implement interventions on stroke, its risk factors and symptoms to help people understand the negative impact on the quality of life.

Prevention of stroke measures involves identification of risk factors, which may include the increased prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and a high BMI. The increased incidences of these diseases lead to a number of complications that include atrial fibrillation, irregular blood circulation, and tendency for blood clotting, which requires effective available treatment to minimize the chances of stroke occurrence.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.[2] Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and is an important cause of stroke.

In atrial fibrillation, blood can pool in the heart's upper chambers (atria) and form blood clots. If a blood clot forms, it can travel from the heart to the brain, obstructing the flow of blood to the brain and causing a stroke.[3]

“To address this, the medical community focuses on making the right choice for patients when it comes to stroke prevention through the use of oral anti-coagulants which are used to treat atrial fibrillation. Studies have shown that anticoagulation can result in a 64% reduction in strokes,” [4] noted Dr. Al Rukn.

“The impact of suffering stroke incidences leave a devastating mark on patients and their families. We need to continue to intensify our efforts to developing dedicated stroke care centers, which will directly lead to faster and better patient outcomes and aims to provide superior technology with multidisciplinary teams that exclusively manage stroke patients in a ward. Having such centers will decrease the mortality rates, the complications and outcomes of stroke. This because patients lose about 120 million brain cells within 1 hour of suffering from a stroke incident. The underlying aim here is to deliver the right patient to the right medical facility in the right time frame. In the UAE, there are more than 10,000 stroke cases per year. We believe that over 80% of all stokes are preventable by lifestyle adjustments[5], noted Al Rukn.

Mazen Bachir, Boehringer Ingelheim’s General Manager and Head of Human Pharma across the Gulf commented, “Stroke is one of the biggest causes of death and severe disability in the region and many patients simply do not have access to specialty care. At Boehringer Ingelheim, we are focused on raising awareness on the need for proper and effective prevention and treatment of stroke. Boehringer Ingelheim remains committed to support patients and healthcare professionals by driving the implementation of stroke units within hospitals to reduce the burden of stroke disability and so that lives are not lost as a result of not being able to reach the nearest centre on time.”

“Rapid diagnosis in a dedicated stroke centre can quickly determine the stroke and immediate medical treatment, in less than 60 minutes, known as the Golden Hour reduces the chances of further complications. Our aim is to improve thrombolysis rates to reach an average of 18-20% (a worldwide best practice), establish tele stroke units in urban areas, as well as increase patient awareness to recognize symptoms leading to stroke. It is worth mentioning that within two years, Rashid Hospital has succeeded to reduce the door-to-needle time frame from 95 minutes to 35 minutes,” added Dr. Al Rukn.

-Ends-

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.

Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 17.5 billion euros. R&D expenditure of almost 3.2 billion euros corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales.

As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards humankind and the environment.

For more information, please visit the company’s social media platforms for the region: Facebook or Twitter  

For further information, kindly contact:
Sara Shamel
Head of External Communications - META
Boehringer Ingelheim | Middle East, Turkey and Africa
sara.shamel@boehringer-ingelheim.com 

[1] European Stroke Organization | Improving Acute Stroke Care | https://eso-stroke.org/angels-initiative/ 

[2] Mayo Clinic | Strokes | https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113 

[3] Harvard Medical School | https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/atrial-fibrillation-common-serious-treatable 

[4] Atrial fibrillation in the Middle East: unmapped, underdiagnosed, undertreated I https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29575965 

[5] German Neuroscience center | Stroke and Heart Attack Statistics 2017 | http://www.gncdubai.com/european-cardiovascular-disease-statistics-2017/ 

© Press Release 2019

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