KARACHI: Stroke is the major cause of mortality and morbidity in Pakistan, as 22 per cent stroke patients die or become disable. A large proportion of stroke patients die or become disable due to poor neurocritical care. Neurocritical Care sections should be established in every Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of different hospitals in the metropolis, as neurocritical care is the intensive care management of patients with life-threatening neurological and neurosurgical illnesses like stroke, spinal cord disorders, brain tumors, brain injuries etc.
These views were expressed in a two-day Neurocritical Care Teaching Course 2019 held at the Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi (UoK) on March 7 to 8. PCMD Director Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary inaugurated the course, designed for health experts, while it was concluded on Friday.
Dr. Panjwani Center organised the course in association with ASEA Uninet, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria. Two leading Austrian neurological health experts from the same institution, Prof. Dr. Erich Schmutzhard and Dr. Raimund Helbok conducted the teaching course. Dr. Syed Tarique Moin conducted the question and answers sessions.
In his concluding remarks, Prof. Iqbal Choudhary said that proper training of doctors and neurologists in the field of neurocritical care was essential in the country’s health care system.
He said that stroke was the major cause of death in the country where 22 per cent people die of massive stroke. He maintained that severe neurological and neurosurgical diseases were on the rise in the country. He regretted that lack of neurocritical care sections in intensive care units of different leading hospitals was one of the major causes linked with deaths of neurological and neurosurgical diseases in the country.
The PCMD Director said that Dr. Panjwani Center had initiated a number of scientific programs with the objective to find possible treatments of often neglected and prevalent diseases of Pakistan. One of the center’s objectives was to focus on the development of new and effective diagnostic, and treatment techniques for prevalent diseases, he informed the participants.
Prof. Erich Schmutzhard defined neurocritical care as the intensive care management of patients with life-threatening neurological and neurosurgical illnesses like severe stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, severe traumatic brain injury, acute cerebral hypoxia and anoxia, life threatening infectious and inflammatory diseases of the nervous system to technical issues like intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure.
A patient with serious neurological illness or injury needs the advanced expertise of the neurocritical care team for correct diagnosis, effective handling and caring support, he said.
He said that as many as 40 participants came from all over Pakistan attended the course. These participants were neurologists, neurosurgeons, anaesthesists, internal medicine specialists and pediatricians, both residents and specialists in their field as well as senior medical students, he said.
He also appreciated the team of scientists at the Dr. Panjwani Center for organising such a useful course for health experts.
Dr. Raimund Helbok said that this course was designed for health professionals working in the fields of neurology, critical care, internal medicine, neuroscience and emergency medicine. The program focuses on the latest evidence-based management of all aspects of neurocritical care, he said.
Beside these precious and highly acclaimed teaching and learning effects these 2 days were highly productively used to further and deepen SE-Asian and European (Austrian) ties in future learning, teaching, student exchange and scientific collaborations, he said.