Hemorrhagic Stroke and Fixing Nigeria

By Adeolu Akinyemi

On June 21, 13 years ago, my mother aged 56 in Nigeria,  had a hemorrhagic stroke

On June 25, 2022, I watched a 59-year-old lady in Dubai,  have a hemorrhagic stroke

I wasn’t witness to my mother’s, but I saw her at the hospital the day after

I was witness to this one in Dubai and saw her to the hospital the same day and after.

First, what is Hemorrhagic Stroke?

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood from an artery suddenly begins bleeding into the brain. As a result, the part of the body controlled by the damaged area of the brain cannot work properly

There are two main types of hemorrhagic stroke:

* Intracranial hemorrhages, when the bleeding occurs inside the brain

* Subarachnoid haemorrhages, when the bleeding occurs between the brain and the membranes that cover it

What are the symptoms and causes?

Symptoms

* A sudden, severe headache

* Changes in vision

* Loss of balance or coordination

* Weakness, inability to move or numbness in an arm or leg

* Seizures

* Loss of speech or difficulty understanding speech

* Confusion or loss of alertness

* Nausea and vomiting

* Loss of consciousness

Additional symptoms may include:

* Paralysis of one side of the body

* Sensitivity to light

* Stiffness in the neck or neck pain

* Frequent fluctuations in the heartbeat and breathing

* Hand tremors

* Difficulty swallowing

* Abnormal taste in the mouth

Causes

Sudden bleeding may result from:

* Head injuries

* Cerebral aneurysm

* High blood pressure

* Blood vessel abnormalities, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM) or amyloid angiopathy

* Blood or bleeding disorders, such as sickle cell anemia

* Liver disease

* Brain tumor

* Drug abuse

In middle-aged to elderly people, the most likely cause is unattended High Blood Pressure. 

(PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE… don’t just know about RIDA, and speak well of RIDA. If you have those conditions, the least you can do is to drink or take the capsules daily, this is aside from whatever else your Doctor Prescribes)

While I think I would later do justice to this challenge and provide guidance on what people can do to reduce the chances of this happening to themselves or their loved ones, I want to particularly observe the different ways in which patients in both nations were handled, and show the urgent need to fix Nigeria. 

In Nigeria here are the steps

1. You see someone who slumped 

2. People gather around the person, and someone quickly says they should disperse

3. Confusion sets in for a while and then they decide to rush the person to the hospital

4. The person is cramped into the back seat of a car or bus

5. The drive through traffic through bumpy roads to the nearest general hospital

6. They get to the hospital and need to fall into a queue

7. They are lucky and get a bed, but no doctor

8. The nurses try to take basic parameters while the person degenerates

9. By the time they know what’s really happening things get really bad

10. While this is going on you are being asked who is going to pay?  

11. Someone needs to be on standby to chase all the bills and receipts and pay

12. The person is unconscious but still moving, breathing and having tremors

13. After a few days, the doctors know what it is, and need a surgeon

14. It takes a while to track the surgeon and anesthetist down

15. They do the operation, the patient is in a coma, and is moved into ICU

16. The ICU has a UPS that backs up NEPA

17. The light regularly goes as well as the UPS

18. In a few days, the inevitable happens 

19. Condolences

20. Funeral

In Dubai, here are the processes I witnessed

1. You see someone who slumped

2. People gather around the person, and someone quickly says they should disperse

3. An Ambulance is called

4. The ambulance arrives in 5 mins with paramedics to take vitals and do ECG

5. The results are printed and interpreted to determine the next line of action

6. Patient is rushed to the emergency ward and resuscitated

7. A CT-Scan is done to determine brain activity

8. The CT-Scan shows blood in the brain, and a discussion ensues with a Neurosurgeon

9. Next steps are determined, no payment discussion yet as it’s a life emergency.

10. The Hospital staff tries to secure a family or next of kin. In the event of none, the Neurosurgeon is empowered to make the decision for life. 

11. Surgery commences immediately – lasted 5hrs in this case. 

12. Guests for patients can monitor surgery progress updates on a scene at the reception

13. Once the surgery is complete and successful, the patient is moved to ICU, sedated, medicated, and connected to different monitoring gadgets and oxygen

14. Doctors and Nurses communicate current realities and next steps to colleagues or family

15. Clear visiting hours are spelled out, and numbers are collected in case of quick updates

16. The ICU light never blinks, if anything happens to the patient, it’s not because they didn’t give it their best shot.

(At the time of this writing, the woman is in the ICU and being monitored 24/7, you can join to pray along that she makes it out alive and well. Anywhere in the world still needs people praying.)

The difference is a country where because the head is correct, everyone else aligns. Superhumans don’t live in any country, only super leaders with super enforceable laws. One of the aspects that got me really tripped was when the Neurosurgeon told me, that this surgery was his call and he would sign since the family of the lady was not present. He didn’t even transfer that burden to me. He was the leader for this, and life needed to be saved.

You see, Japa is a solution, but it’s a selfish solution. There are 180 million Nigerians who cannot afford japa. For those of us who can but are slow to do so, we need to gather our energies to fix our country. Else, we are all sitting ducks, waiting for our day of execution. 

Fixing Nigeria is not impossible, it’s difficult but possible. The shortest cut is a leader from the blues, which only God can give, the long-term real option is an invasion of politics by professionals. Our polity and our faith need the Nehemiah company – these are people who are committed to building and don’t wear their vocation as their excuse. 

I remember and love you mum. I am still carrying your torch to my generation and the next. It’s going to be 13 years in a few days that you breathe your last on this side of eternity. You are still alive in our yesterday, present in our hearts, and forever in our tomorrow. You moved to Heaven just so you can be close enough to ask for Jesus’ special attention on your family.

 

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