Malaysia's First Dedicated Stroke Emergency Unit

Country: 
Malaysia

By: Dr Abdul Hanif Khan Yusof Khan and Dr Janudin Baharin, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia

Hospital Pengajar University Putra Malaysia (HPUPM) located in Serdang, Selangor is envisioned to be Malaysia’s first high-volume stroke centre with a dedicated stroke emergency unit known as RESQ (Regional Emergency Stroke Quick Response Unit).

The establishment of RESQ is a bold vision to provide this country with cutting edge and effective hyper acute stroke services, specifically in medical thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy.

These promising neurologic interventions are still currently lacking and have huge future potential and benefits to healthcare in Malaysia. The operation began in March 2020 with strong support from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE) and especially University Putra Malaysia (UPM.) with pioneering service to cater South Klang Valley population of nearly 2 million people.

This ambitious pilot project is expected to be expanded nationwide complementing the country’s other existing subspecialty services. HPUPM is designed with a dedicated six intensive care unit (ICU) beds, eight acute stroke unit beds and one neurology ward focusing specifically on stroke rehabilitation.

Furthermore, this state-of-the-art RESQ service was masterfully designed with “time is brain” concept as the central pillar where in order to optimize time and improve clinical outcomes, imaging services and interventional radiology suites were located side by side with the aim to perform 500 medical thrombolysis and 200 mechanical thrombectomies each year.

HPUPM is also envisioned to be Malaysia’s excellence centre for future stroke physician and neuro interventionist training programme, in which we are currently supported by four senior consultant neurologists, two-stroke emergency physician and two interventional radiologists. With strong supports from the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and Asian-Australasian Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (AAFITN), we are developing training modules to meet the increasing needs for advance stroke training in Malaysia.

We are committed to improve knowledge and awareness among the public on the importance of acute stroke recognition and hyperacute management by continuously engaging in public education and campaigns. We recently organized our first World Stroke Day 4.5KM Run with the theme ‘Run FAST for Stroke’ which attracted significant interest from the local community. We hope by the establishment of RESQ we will be able to complement and further improve the Malaysian healthcare system in order to reduce the morbidity & mortality associated with stroke.