(MENAFN – Gulf Times) * QF entity performs complex epilepsy surgery for first time on an international patient
Sidra Medicine, a Qatar Foundation (QF) entity, has performed a complex epilepsy surgery for the first time on an international patient.
Salem is a 10-year-old boy from Kuwait who used to suffer from at least 15-30 seizures a day. Each seizure could last from a few seconds to up to four minutes, increasing the danger to his physical health.
Salem was transferred to Sidra Medicine in Qatar, after his family in Kuwait sought a second expert opinion with the hospital’s renowned specialist treatment programme for children with intractable epilepsy.
Salem’s father, Dr Abdulrahman Abdullah, said: ‘Due to the nature of Salem’s epilepsy, we had to have someone monitoring him all the time as he would have an uncontrollable seizure any minute, with the added risk of hurting himself. And while he was on a good therapy programme, including anti-epileptic medications, in Kuwait, we had reached a stage where he was no longer responding to conventional treatment or medication.
‘Our decision to bring my son Salem to Sidra Medicine was based on several recommendations within the international and regional pediatric medical faculty. The specialist and advanced therapies that Sidra Medicine offers competes with centres of excellence that are in the US or Europe. My family and I are extremely impressed with the care our son received here, Salem’s father continued.
Dr Husam Kayyali, acting division chief of Neurology at Sidra Medicine, said: ‘Salem’s case was brought to our attention when his father reached out to our international office about saving his son’s life. Intractable epilepsy can be a heavy burden, especially on children as they need constant monitoring and care. Studies have shown that only 3-4% of patients with intractable epilepsy would respond to treatment with antiepileptic medications. Cutting-edge advanced therapies such as epilepsy surgery might be the only answer in such cases. After a thorough evaluation of Salem’s case at Sidra Medicine, we decided to proceed with epilepsy surgery.
Salem was cared for at Sidra Medicine by a multidisciplinary team of experts from neurology, neurophysiology, radiology, nuclear medicine, neuro-psychology and neurosurgery. He was also extensively supported by a wider team from occupational health, physical therapy, rehabilitative medicine and ophthalmology to ensure a comprehensive pre- and post-operative care programme, a press statement noted.
Sidra Medicine is “one of very few children’s hospitals in the Middle East” to have dedicated paediatric experts overseeing the entire spectrum of care for children with complex diseases or health challenges, including epilepsy, the statement points out.
‘Salem’s treatment programme at Sidra Medicine started with a thorough assessment and investigations at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit with Video-Electroencephalographic monitoring and advanced neuroimaging such as high-resolution Brain MRI imaging and (positron emission tomography) PET scans. It was determined that Salem had suffered a stroke when he was a fetus inside his mother. This explained how he started getting refractory epileptic seizures when he turned five, which had progressively damaged the left