HOSPITAL STROKE UNIT BAGS A HAT-TRICK


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

Dr Wong (left) receiving the second WSO Angels Diamond Award this year.

WHILE bagging an award for excellence once is already a feat, Pantai Hospital Penang has outdone itself by clinching the World Stroke Organisation’s (WSO) Angels Awards Diamond Status three times since last year.

The hospital’s third consecutive win has put the spotlight on its stroke care unit.

‘Stroke is a sneaky killer, it strikes us suddenly, ’ said Dr Wong.‘Stroke is a sneaky killer, it strikes us suddenly, ’ said Dr Wong.

Pantai Hospital Penang consultant neurologist Dr Wong Yee Choon, who is the head of the stroke unit, said the hospital is the only one in Malaysia to win the award for three quarters (Q4 of 2019, and Q1 and Q2 of 2020).

“Winning this award was a team effort, from the ambulance staff to the doctors and supporting staff at the hospital.

“The win came as a pleasant surprise as we did not think about any awards but providing world-class health care, and everyone is dedicated in improving the standards further, ” he said.

WSO’s Angels Awards are given to hospitals which provide data and evidence of delivery of care and treatment against a set of seven criteria.

The organisation encourages continuous data capturing, enabling analysis of that data to identify, and acting to address areas for improvement.

Winning the WSO Angels Awards was a team effort from the ambulance staff to the surgeons and supporting staff at Pantai Hospital Penang, according to Dr Wong.Winning the WSO Angels Awards was a team effort from the ambulance staff to the surgeons and supporting staff at Pantai Hospital Penang, according to Dr Wong.

Dr Wong said the hospital’s stroke unit which was set up in 2013 has been receiving about 500 to 600 patients a year and has a comprehensive and dedicated ward for stroke patients with 18 beds.

“We have an average of 40 to 50 patients a month and most of the time, the ward is 80% full as there has been an increase in the number of stroke patients over the years.

“I always like to give an analogy of the unit as a pitstop in Formula One.

“Once a patient who has a stroke is wheeled in, the whole team has to work fast to diagnose, assess, push for a scan, do the scan, read the scan, interpret it, talk to the family and begin treatment.

Pantai Hospital Penang’s stroke unit was set up in 2013 and has a dedicated ward with 18 beds.Pantai Hospital Penang’s stroke unit was set up in 2013 and has a dedicated ward with 18 beds.

“Everything runs simultaneously, and the key is teamwork, whereby all work is in tandem when attending to the patient.

“Most patients are above 40. Stroke is one of the biggest complications of untreated hypertension, with people’s lifestyle playing a major part in the disease, ” he said.

Dr Wong said many who know they have hypertension do not seek treatment, while those on medication do not take it regularly.

“Many do not know they have hypertension until they are down with a stroke and they could be going on for a long time with a blood pressure reading of 150 without any symptom.

“Stroke is a sneaky killer, it strikes us suddenly. Both men and women are at risk, with many who are young suffering from stroke due to an unhealthy lifestyle.”

Pantai Hospital Penang sees 40 to 50 stroke patients a month.Pantai Hospital Penang sees 40 to 50 stroke patients a month.

Dr Wong said people should be familiar with BEFAST, the acronym used for symptom recognition:

B (balance): Loss of balance

E (eyes): Blurred vision

F (face): One side of the face droops

A (arm): Weakness in the arm

S (speech): Speech difficulty

T (time): Go to a hospital that is equipped with a stroke centre immediately

“Anyone who has any of the symptoms must be rushed to a hospital with a stroke centre, to be provided with the fastest treatment possible, as a normal hospital will not be able to diagnose the case immediately, ” cautioned Dr Wong.

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