Dubai: A 68-year-old businessman in Dubai went into a coma, after a nasty fall in the shower led to a severe head injury, but doctors at the private hospital he was rushed to said they helped him turn the corner.
Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Thaer Darwish, a consultant in neurosurgery and spinal surgery at Prime Hospital who treated the patient, cautioned residents — especially the elderly — to stay alert and guard against slipping in the bathroom as it can result in critical injuries.
He said: “The Indian resident suffered a massive head injury while taking a shower at his home, causing a rupture in the brain and severe bleeding, following which he slipped into a coma. The man fell on his back and hit his head, so the impact was huge.”
He said when the patient was rushed to the Emergency, the pupils in both his eyes were dilated, which indicated that his condition was critical and the patient was about to die.
“However, we immediately operated on him to evacuate the subdural haematoma or the clotted blood in the brain. He remained in coma and was on ventilation in the ICU for a couple of days. A second surgery was done three days later and the man eventually woke up,” said Dr Darwish.
According to the doctor, “Eighty per cent of those who suffer from subdural haematoma lose their lives, if they do not receive prompt treatment. Thankfully, this patient was saved because he was operated on in the nick of time.”
Now on a rehab regime, the patient is recovering, he added.
While figures for bathroom falls are not immediately available in the UAE, a study in the US says over 230,000 people are injured in the bathroom every year. The majority of the injuries are caused by falling, with those aged 65-plus having the highest injury rate, resulting in hospitalisation.
Besides slipping in the shower or bathtub, even sitting down or standing up from a toilet seat can cause injuries, the study noted.
Safety tips to prevent bathroom falls
• Use non-slippery mats on the floor
• Put up grab bars or rails near toilet seats and in the shower area
• Don’t stand, use a stable seat while showering
• Make sure soaps, shampoos, towels etc are easily accessible
• Keep the toilet area dry
• Ensure the bathroom is well-lit