Rotorua man benefits from new protocol at Rotorua Hospital
11/09/2018 2:39:57 p.m.

Monday 10 September 2018

Rotorua man Ian Sainty feels so lucky this week, he’s going to buy a lotto ticket as soon as he gets out of Rotorua Hospital.

Mr Sainty (63) had a stroke last Thursday, at his friend’s place in Ngongotaha and because he received medical treatment quickly, he’s made a full recovery.

“I feel very lucky. I feel pretty good now, back to normal,” he says.

And the medical team at Rotorua Hospital that treated Mr Sainty is very excited that a new streamlined CT imaging protocol, identifying patients most likely to benefit from Stroke Clot Retrieval which is done in Auckland, worked so well.

Head of Radiology Dr Carl Huxford says the team has been working hard to streamline the new protocol which is all very new.

“It’s very, very amazing. The whole team is very excited. Dr Mahawish has been working to streamline the protocol and so many pieces of the puzzle had to come together and it worked and we’ve got a great result.”

Consultant Geriatrician Dr Karim Mahawish says Mr Sainty experienced a stroke resulting in him being unable to move his left arm or leg and not being able to see the left hand side. He arrived quickly in Rotorua Hospital and scans confirmed a blocked blood vessel in the right side of his brain caused by a blood clot. Two million brain cells die every minute a stroke remains untreated so because Mr Sainty acted so quickly, it greatly increased his chance of making a full recovery, Dr Mahawish says.

He was given clot busting medication at Rotorua Hospital within 24 minutes. In some patients like Mr Sainty, the blockage is too big and so he was flown to Auckland City Hospital at 1:40pm for stroke clot retrieval; a treatment whereby the clot could be removed.

“His recovery is a testament to how effective close working between hospital departments and transport services can result in excellent patient outcomes,” says Dr Mahawish.

While Mr Sainty was visiting his friend and having a cup of tea on the deck last Thursday, he had to sit down because he felt abit dizzy and then couldn’t get up when he tried.
His friend said he had “funny glazed over eyes.” The friend rang his wife, a registered nurse who said it sounds like a stroke and to ring the ambulance immediately. The incident happened at 11.10 am and the ambulance was picking him up by 11.20am, he says.

Mr Sainty says he brushed the incident off and would have just driven home if he had been able to get up.

“I said no we don’t need an ambulance, we don’t need any of that drama. But it’s lucky he rang the ambulance and it came and so quickly, it was there in no time.”

Mr Sainty was taken to Rotorua Hospital and the next thing he was in a helicopter on his way to Auckland Hospital. By the time Mr Sainty’s children got to Rotorua Hospital from Tauranga, he was already on his way to Auckland. They rushed to Auckland Hospital and were in time to cheer as he came out of the operation.

“By the time they got to Rotorua I was choppering into the sunset. I got a free chopper ride and went to the Stroke Ward in Auckland Hospital. They put something through an artery in my leg to your brain and clear it. It amazes me. It’s plumbing by remote.”

Mr Sainty came back to Rotorua Hospital by ambulance on Saturday evening and expects to be discharged Monday or Tuesday.

“I could be a can can dancer I’ve done that lift your leg up thing so many times.”

If he was to give any advice, he says it would be not to ignore the signs of a stroke and to get immediate medical attention.

“I could have left and driven home and been on my own when the stroke happened. If it had been left up to me I would have just shrugged it off. I’m lucky my mate was on the ball.”

Mr Sainty was very impressed with his experience in the health system in both hospitals.

“I was pretty impressed with the whole lot. The speed we got here and then to get surgery in Auckland. It’s quite amazing and it could well have saved my life or the outcome could not have been as good. Apparently, you lose brain cells at quite a pace, so the sooner you get treatment the better the outcomes.”

Mr Sainty who is a painter/decorator says he can’t drive for a month so will take abit of time off work.

For more information contact:
Sue Wilkie Communications Officer or Shan Tapsell Assistant Communications Officer
Phone (07) 349 7944 or mobile 027 242 3652