When a simple headache could be a sign of something more ominous

When a simple headache could be a sign of something more ominous

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-10-26 10:48 Bengaluru: Can a simple headache and vomiting be a pointer to something life-threatening? Ask Binu Narayan, whose life was never the same after he visited a doctor following the headache.Binu seemed to be in the pink of health. He had no major ailments and life had been going on normally, that is until he experienced giddiness and vomiting for two days, following which he visited Vasavi Hospital.Dr BR Venkatesh, Consultant Physician, Vasavi Hospital, did not suspect anything unusual at first. But something wasn’t right, so Dr Venkatesh advised Binu to get a CT scan for the brain. To his shock, Binu was told that he had a large haemorrhagic infraction in his right half of the brain. “Such large haemorrhages put significant pressure on the vital structures of the brain, if these are not treated immediately, this can be dangerous,” says Dr Venkatesh. Dr Venkatesh immediately referred him to neurosurgeon Dr Ramesh Ranganathan, who asked for an MRI to be done. The MRI revealed that Binu had a significantly large thrombosis of the sigmoid sinus, which is a major sinus draining blood from right half of the brain, and he had to be operated immediately. Binu underwent a surgery to relieve the pressure and to ensure that the adjacent vital structure of the brain was not affected. The surgery involved removing the major portion of his skull bone just like a cap and then performing the surgery which also included removal of the clot.  The skull bone will be placed back after three months once his condition is perfectly fine. Post-surgery, Binu recovered rapidly and was discharged and is now hale and hearty.Cortical Sinus thrombosis is life threatening and affects 3-4 per million of the population. Majority of the patients are women, and they suffer from this condition mainly due to anaemia, dehydration and hormonal replacement therapy. So, it is important that we do not ignore a simple headache. Crowd funding helps nurseNext time if you have backache, don’t ignore it, as you may be suffering from the same disease which affected Egyptian mummies.  Mamtha G, who works as a nurse in Vasavi Hospital, had been suffering from backache for a while.  When the intensity of the backache increased, she decided it was time to consult Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Rupendu.  Dr Rupendu did not think the backache was just a simple one.  Years of experience and his training made him refer her for a CT scan.  The CT scan just broke Mamtha’s heart. She was diagnosed with Pott’s spine, named after Sir Percival Pott, for his description of the tuberculosis infection of the spine in 1779. Pott’s disease is nothing but spinal tuberculosis.  The condition was even found in found in Egyptian mummies, dating back as early as 3,400 BC.  Pott’s disease is a destructive form of tuberculosis. It accounts for approximately half of all muscular skeletal tuberculosis.  Common manifestation of this disease is back pain, tenderness in the spine area can also be paraplegia. Pott’s disease destructs the spinal discs and the vertebra and progresses rapidly.  The problem with this condition is that it can lead to paraplegia which is called Pott’s paraplegia.  Dr Rupendu and team, who treated Mamtha, said the CT scan revealed a huge amount of puss right in front of lumber sacral vertebra.  There was extensive bone damage it was important that Mamtha had to be operated immediately or else there was every chance that her legs would be paralysed.But Mamtha and her family were heartbroken when told that the surgery would cost around Rs.2.50 lakh. But the risk of not getting operated was to lose her legs.  Enter the good-hearted trustees of Vasavi Hospital. The management team of Vasavi Hospital, spearheaded by Vasavi Hospital medical director Dr. Ramesh Makam, sent across a simple WhatsApp message to the trustees.  The story of Mamtha moved each one of them.  “I was overwhelmed with the response I got from my fellow trustees.  It hardly took three hours for us to raise the total amount that was required for the surgery,” says Dr. Ramesh Makam. Today, Mamtha is back at work, and she wants to treat all her patients with the same compassion she received at the hospital.