The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Speciality stroke unit at Medical College

Alarmed by the spurt in cerebral attacks, the government has decided to open a full-fledged “stroke unit” at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

According to health department officials, the unit will have a 100-bed ward exclusively for stroke patients. There will also be facilities for various therapy tools used for the treatment of those who have suffered a cerebral attack or have a related disorder.

“The number of patients suffering cerebral attacks is rising rapidly. If we do not address the matter immediately, the situation may spin out of control,” admitted director of medical education C.R. Maity.

“We have improved the cardiac-care and treatment systems in all the medical colleges and district hospitals, but nothing much has been done specially for stroke patients. We shall start the unit soon with some basic infrastructure and later expand and extend it in a phased manner,” he added.

Besides setting up the unit, the government also has plans to organise awareness campaigns about the disease in the city and its suburbs. Plans are being drawn up for a specialised training centre for doctors and nurses from the district hospitals. A tele-medicine system to treat the disease is also in the pipeline.

The Calcutta Medical College and Hospital unit, led by head of the neurology department Dr Dipesh Mondal, will comprise physiotherapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists, along with four specially-trained nurses and two interns.

“Cerebral attack is the major cause of death after heart attack. Nearly 40,000 to 50,000 people die of stroke in the state every year and several thousands become paralysed. At least 60 per cent of those lives can be saved if we can give proper treatment in time and take preventive measures,’’ Mondal said.

At present, with no specialised unit for stroke patients, they are either sent to medicine specialists or to neurologists. “Moreover, if someone is afflicted with paralysis after a cerebral attack, there is no system in the medical college to give them proper treatment,” added Mondal.

Nearly 15,000 to 20,000 stroke patients suffer from paralysis after cerebral attacks every year. This will be the focus area for the stroke unit in Calcutta Medical College and Hospital during the second phase, that will also see a mobile stroke unit taking to the streets. This stroke unit on wheels will do the rounds of the city to treat patients during an emergency and spread awareness about cerebral attacks.

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