New Facility for Stroke and F.A.S.T. Detection

By SeeFoon  Chan-Koppen

A new Neurology service under the capable hands of Dr Swa Beng Wei, Consultant Neurologist and Consultant Physician, has recently begun in Hospital Fatimah. Boasting the only Transcranial  Doppler Sonography machine in Ipoh, combined with judicious treatment administered promptly, Dr Swa hopes to increase 100 per cent recovery rate in patients who suffer a stroke.

The key to recovery lies in quick detection and getting to the hospital in the fastest time possible. Using the easy acronym of F.A.S.T. which stands for Facial weakness, Arm raising (inability), Slurred Speech and Time to get to the hospital, patients and relatives can quickly determine if indeed a stroke has occurred and rush immediately to hospital.

According to Dr Swa, if a stroke victim gets to the hospital within 1.5 hours, one in five will have a 100 per cent recovery; between 1.5 to 3 hours, one in nine can expect full recovery; between 3-4.5 hours, one in fourteen will recover and the numbers diminish further the longer the time taken to be treated. As for the prevention and management of strokes, the two most important factors to monitor and control are blood pressure and diabetes.

And he should know, having received his MRCP UK in 2008, he completed his Neurology Fellowship at some of the most prestigious hospitals, renowned for Stroke, Epilepsy and Parkinson and movement disorder management in 2013. These are the Stroke and Neuro ICU Centre, at  Massachusetts General Hospital, under the tutelage of Professor Aneesh Singhal, Stroke Director of Stroke centre, MGH, and Stroke Professor, Harvard, Boston, Massachusetts; The Cleveland Clinic at the Epilepsy and Movement Disorder Centres, Cleveland, Ohio under their respective directors.

Dr Swa is no stranger to Perak having completed his internship in Hospital Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia and worked as Medical Officer and Registrar from 2004-2008, Internal Medicine Specialist from 2008-2009 followed by a stint for one year at Hospital Taiping, Perak, before moving to Kuala Lumpur to complete his Neurology Fellowship at the National Neurology Institute and subsequent attachment to the Neurology Department at UKM. A year as Visiting Neurologist to Hospital Ipoh in 2012 followed, prior to his departure to the US for his final completion of the Neurology Fellowship which landed him at Hospital Fatimah.

In addition to managing stroke victims, Dr Swa’s specialties include treating Epilepsy and patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Fatimah’s Epilepsy monitoring unit with 30 minutes electroencephalography (EEG) recording and sleep deprived EEG recording or the in-patient 24 hours video telemetry EEG recording for further diagnosis and treatment are some of the facilities available under Dr Swa’s care.

Nerve issues as in exact location and severity of nerve entrapment such as carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar, radial or common peroneal nerve entrapment also come under Dr Swa’s purview as is the Sleep Study Laboratory for diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA ) vs central sleep apnea, resulting in improved sleep quality which may help to reduce high uncontrolled hypertension, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk associated with OSA; assist those with Insomnia, hypersomnolence (recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep), or Narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden sleep attacks in the day).

Dr Swa also provides a  Headache and Pain service (diagnosis and treatment programme for recurrent headache and neuropathic pain) and takes care of Parkinson’s patients with medication as well as Deep Brain Stimulation pre-surgical evaluation.

As time is of the essence in the management of stroke, Fatimah’s hospital ambulance service to transport suspected acute stroke patient from their house is available by contacting the hospital Fatimah at 05 545 5777.

Dr Swa Beng Wei
Neurology and Medical Specialist Clinic,
Ground floor, Hospital Fatimah, Ipoh.
Tel: 05 545 5777 Ext. 502/503
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