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Amidst the COVID19 Pandemic, UP-PGH Department of Neurosciences held the Stroke Week 2020 virtually with the theme “Challenge Accepted: Stroke Knockdown During Lockdown”. All activities were held online via Zoom Meeting and Facebook Live from August 17-20, 2020.

During the first day of Stroke Week, a Stroke Lay Forum was held where most of the participants were the Facebook followers of the department’s page. Among these participants were patients of the Department of Neurosciences. Dr. Epifania Collantes, a neurovascular consultant, gave a lecture entitled “Atake sa Utak: Ano Ito at Paano Maiiwasan”. After her lecture, Dr. Carissa Pineda-Franks, neurocritical care consultant, discussed the first aid for stroke, with a lecture titled “Unang Lunas ng Stroke”. The lectures were highly informative and made available for view even after August 17. An open forum tackling questions on nutrition, rehabilitation and first aid of patients with stroke was held afterwards. The lively discussion was hosted by Dr. Robert Joseph Sarmiento, the Department’s Chief Resident. The expert panel was composed of the following doctors: Dr. Carissa Pineda-Franks, Dr. Nicole Aliling (adult neurology consultant and nutritionist), and Dr. Carl Leochico (rehabilitation medicine consultant). Panel members answered questions that were mostly from stroke patients and their caregivers. They also addressed several common issues and misconceptions about stroke

On the second day of Stroke Week celebration, a Stroke Fora for Healthcare Workers was held via Zoom Meeting and Facebook Live. The event was open to all interested healthcare workers from all over the country. Link invites were sent to different departments of PGH as well as to other institutions over the country. Over 200 healthcare workers participated and joined the forum. The event was hosted by Dr. Lennie de Castillo (Neurovascular fellow) and Nurse Precious Deligente. The were attended by medical doctors from all fields as well as nurses. Two neurovascular consultants imparted valuable knowledge in their field. Dr. Artemio Roxas, Jr. gave a lecture entitled “Standardizing Evaluation of Patients Suspected of Acute Stroke”. This was followed by Dr. Leonard Pascual’s lecture entitled “The Dark Side of Stroke: Monitoring and Anticipating Complications.” Our very own nurse from the Neurology ward, Mr. Leo Angelo Javillonar, was also invited to discuss “Nurses’ Must Know in Stroke Management”. Their lectures were followed by a live Q and A session in which several questions from the audience were received.

Dr. Clare Angeli Enriquez, neurovascular fellow, had her Grand Rounds on the third day of Stroke Week, She presented a case of stroke with rheumatic heart disease and discussed issues in its management. Dr. Ma. Cristina San Jose, neurovascular consultant, hosted the event and Dr. Celia Catherine Uy-Agbayani, CVS consultant, was the reactor. The Grand Rounds was well attended by neurologists and cardiologists alike.

During the last day of the week-long celebration, an exercise activity for Neurology residents to encourage primary prevention of stroke was hosted by Dr. Christian Wilson Turalde. During the event, winners of the Get Fit, Don’t Quit challenge were awarded. This was an online challenge in which participants were invited to post a photo/video of their exercise routine using the hashtag #PGHStrokeWeek2020 and the most liked posts were declared winners. The winners were LA Sarmiento, Dr. Paul Matthew Pasco, and Dr. Renee Anne Feliciano.

Despite the Lockdown, the Department of Neurosciences was able to Knockdown Stroke by providing information to the lay people regarding stroke and by providing avenues for continued learning of healthcare professionals in the management of stroke. It was all in all a very successful event!

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