22 April 2004

APRIL Strokes

I'm back.

I apologize to all my regular readers (Sassy and Bayi, in particular) and visitors for being unable to post lately. Swamped once more with patients, a good number of which are in critical condition, I hardly had the time to sit down to post my articles. Let's see if I can make it up to you in the days to come. As it is, my schedule's still tight.

Summertime in the Philippines is sweltering hot. In my medical experience, this is the time I get frequent cases of cerobrovascular stroke, heat stroke, hypertension, and heart attacks. Currently, I am also nursing a terrible cold. I think my Dad has caught it too, because of me.

Take the lady patient in the picture above, for example. She is Honeygirl De Leon, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Chairperson. She was speaking in Baguio City (already considered a cool place here) when she had a stroke. She had to be rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors performed a neurosurgical operation technique that involved removing a portion of her skull and placing it in her abdomen. This neurosurgical technique became famous when Roy Horn (of the Siegfried and Roy tandem) underwent the same procedure in order to get saved from the beating he got last October 3 from one of their pet tiger's violent attack. De Leon was recently transferred to Makati Medical Center (MMC) for continuous monitoring and treament.

A portion of the skull is often removed following brain surgery, trauma, stroke or other medical problems that cause the brain to swell. Removing the skull allows the brain to expand, lessen the pressure, and minimize neurologic damage to the patient.

I do not have to look far away to find out that April has some influence on stroke occurrence. My own Dad, for the past 3-4 years, always experiences stroke attacks during the month of April. Fortunately, his strokes are mostly lacunar in nature, as opposed to the more fatal hemorrhagic type. Add to this my personal observation that there is indeed higher incidence of stroke during the summer months. Whether this is attributable to the hot temperature or not, is still debatable at this time, as there is not much local observational studies done to document this.

So how have you been doing lately? I missed weblogging. Hope I can squeeze in more time posting my articles.
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