Timely intervention by Delhi doctors restores sight of girl

Timely intervention by Delhi doctors restores sight of girl

Timely medical intervention restored the sight of a 17-year-old girl, who had lost her vision for almost 36 hours. But that temporary loss of vision possibly saved her life, doctors at a private hospital here say.

The girl, a resident of Lucknow, was admitted to the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital earlier this month and had undergone a gall bladder surgery.

However, she developed complications soon after due to infections. She had seizures, fits and became unconscious one day, said Dr Vineet Suri of the Neurology Department at the hospital.

When she regained consciousness a few hours later, she was terrified as she had lost vision in both of her eyes. "She had become conscious and alert but could not see," he said.

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) showed swelling in brain near the vision area suggesting a neurological problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) - a kind of stroke.

The condition arises due to a loss of brain's auto-regulation because of systemic factors such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, or due to certain medications or hormonal changes like during pregnancy leading to altered blood circulation in the brain. Immediate corrective steps can save the brain from permanent damage and return the function to normal.

"We started the treatment and gave medications to reverse the swelling in the brain and within 24 hours she regained her vision partially and after 36 hours she could see," Dr Suri said.

Meanwhile her bile leak was also managed by medication and she was discharged on October 20.

Dr Suri said people have this misconception that stroke is limited only to old age. "But it can occur at any age and at anytime. This young girl couldn't have imagined that the reason for her blindness was a stroke," he said.

"In a way, the temporary loss of vision ended up saving her life. If swelling had developed in any other part of brain which wouldn't have shown such a major symptom, then perhaps situation could have been worse," Dr Suri said.

Nobody is immune to neurological diseases but quick response and treatment result in a greater rate of success.

While some people are more susceptible than others due to various factors like age, lifestyle and genetics, neurological diseases affect all age groups and don't discriminate against gender. Thus, there's a need for people to educate themselves, he stressed.

"Time is an essential factor in treatment of stroke, which is why people need to be aware of the symptoms of stroke so that they seek immediate help."

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