One of the most common diagnoses in Puerto Rico of brain injuries is stroke.
Dr. Juan Galloza, Physiatrist and Director of the Physical Rehabilitation Unit of the Hospital de la Concepción.
In an interview with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health, physiatrist and Director of the Physical Rehabilitation Unit of the Hospital de la Concepción, Juan Gallozaspoke about hospital rehabilitation in patients with brain injuries, emphasizing the advances, objectives and challenges in Puerto Rico.
According to the specialist at this time there are new advances in robotic technology, which are arriving for the rehabilitation of patients with brain injuries. Among the main benefits, there is help for both the patient and the therapist, because the entire rehabilitation process can be facilitated.
“It improves the patient’s function in a more automated way, perhaps, taking more specific measures, where they help us improve areas that we did not see before or that we cannot see through traditional evaluations,” said the physiatrist Juan Galloza.
Similarly, these new technologies can help patients with spasticity, a condition that affects the majority; In these advances, particularly new medications can be found that help manage this severe complication.
However, there are other types of challenges that physical therapists face every day, as confirmed by the physiatrist Juan Galloza: “The challenges are many, right, one of the things we have to consider is that this type of patient, as we talked about before, is a patient who was normal, functional and independent, before suffering the injury and in a matter of one day to the next, he becomes a patient who can be totally dependent, or partially dependent for everything that is his activities of daily living”.
Additionally, the family plays a fundamental role in the patient’s recovery, because they must be trained on how to care for them, however, caregivers are always sought to assist relatives, as well as all the necessary equipment for care. appropriate at home.
“Imagine an 80-year-old patient with his 80-year-old wife, who is also the one who is going to take care of him, how to achieve that these two people have an environment, where they can have an appropriate quality of life, both the patient and his family and that is one of the biggest challenges,” he said.
On the other hand, it has been shown that there is a greater population with advanced age, which causes a greater increase in cases of brain injuries, stroke type, either due to ischemia or bleeding. Similarly, diagnoses of brain trauma caused by motor vehicle accidents are also very common.
“Another less common diagnosis, but one that exists quite a bit, is brain tumors, the patient who has a brain tumor, then surgery, a craniotomy, where the tumor is removed, because they may also be left with some type of deficit and may need services from us,” he said.
One of the main objectives of hospital rehabilitation in patients with brain injuries is to restore function to that patient and give the patient quality of life. “We see a whole, we see a person who, possibly before the event occurred, was functional and had a normal life,” she said.
Medical literature indicates that a stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted by the presence of a blood vessel that is blocked or ruptured. Brain cells that do not receive a constant supply of oxygenated blood can die, causing permanent damage to the brain.
As for hospital rehabilitation, there are different types, in the first part there is an acute intensive rehabilitation center, in which the patient does 3 hours of therapy a day, is with a whole range of professionals. And it is a relatively short hospitalization, because the patient is in an average of 10 to 14 days, however patients with brain injuries can be longer, they can be 3 weeks depending on the case, and then that transition to home is made .
Similarly, there is a skilled nursing care center, a skilled nursery facility, a center where the patient can spend a longer time and the therapy is not as intensive. Therefore, if the patient cannot manage the 3 hours of therapy, it is recommended to go to this type of center, in which the patient stays.
Within hospital rehabilitation, different disciplines are handled with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, and each of the professionals work to make an initial evaluation, and later measure the different areas that are affected in the patient, in order to establish a work plan.
“They work on those goals and from time to time, understand that every few days, or weekly, well, we look back to see that initial evaluation, and see what goals we have met, what goals we have not met, and we establish new goals to continue the work “, he claimed.
Hospital rehabilitation is a process, in which the patient, the family, technological advances and the multidisciplinary team are involved, to ensure that the patient can recover function in the affected areas and thus be able to have a good quality of life. .
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