Rambam doctors rescue Turkish seaman from brain hemorrhage

By
April 4, 2017 20:28

The Turkish citizen was on a container ship at the Port of Haifa when he developed a severe headache.

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Dr. Eitan Abergel

Dr. Eitan Abergel performing a brain catheterization.. (photo credit:PIOTR FLITR)

The life of a Turkish seaman in his 50s was saved last week after Rambam Medical Center physicians performed an urgent brain catheterization and stopped the bleeding of an artery. The man’s condition improved and he is expected to be discharged soon.

The Turkish citizen was on a container ship at the Port of Haifa when he developed a severe headache. After complaining about the pain, he was taken from the ship to Bnai Zion Hospital nearby. A CT, or computerized tomography, scan showed an extensive subcutaneous brain hemorrhage, a life-threatening condition usually caused by an aneurysm.

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Due to the seriousness of his condition, he was rushed to Rambam, which has a special system for treating various types of stroke, including the hemorrhagic, or bleeding, type.

Its stroke team decided to perform a brain catheterization to block the aneurysm and prevent further bleeding.

But they faced a problem – the frightened patient spoke neither Hebrew nor English. With the assistance of the shipping company, a telephone translator was found to explain the seriousness of his condition and the need for urgent treatment.

After hesitation, he consented and the team began the life-saving procedure.

With the patient under full anesthesia, Dr. Eitan Abergel, deputy director of the invasive neurodermatology unit, performed a delicate cerebral catheterization that brought an end to the bleeding. The patient is currently feeling well and being supervised prior to his release in the next few days.

“The man was very lucky,” said Abergel. “This medical problem can be fatal and should be treated as soon as possible.

Fortunately for him, he was close to land and to a hospital that was able to give him the necessary treatment. If he had been at sea, his story could have ended quite differently.”

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