The ceremonial ribbon-cutting and official opening of the clinic was made on 21 December by Professor Ryszard Górecki, Rector of the University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM), Professor Wojciech Maksymowicz, Vice-Rector, and Ewa Błaszczyk from the “Akogo?” Foundation.
The “Alarm Clock for Adults” will help adult coma patients in the first year after an accident and persons who fell into a coma due to hypoxia. The therapy will be refunded by the National Health Fund. Initially, the clinic will house eight beds.
Professor Ryszard Górecki, Rector of the UWM, emphasises that the clinic is a stage of a long-term joint undertaking of the authorities of the university and the Faculty of Medical Sciences.
“We want to establish at our university, in the university clinical hospital, a centre of heart and brain treatment, since in Poland there is no integrated treatment system for these organs. We want to develop treatment of this type, just as it is done in Japan and the United States”, said Professor Ryszard Górecki.
In the clinic, patients may benefit from modern world class equipment, among others, equipment enabling doctors to precisely determine whether a patient’s brain reacts and which of its parts are damaged.
According to Professor Wojciech Maksymowicz, Vice-Rector of the UWM, one of the initiators of establishing the clinic, it will be intended for patients who have reached the age of 18 at the date of admission, have been in coma for no longer than one year after an injury or six months from the occurrence of non-traumatic coma, have stable vital signs and can breathe without mechanical support. The period of treatment should not exceed one year. Based on a comparison with the already functioning “Alarm Clock for Children” clinic, about 100 patients a year will be qualified for rehabilitation in the “Alarm Clock for Adults”. The planned annual cost of rehabilitation of one patient amounts to 237,250 PLN. For three years following their stay, a patient or patient’s carer will take part in a survey aimed at monitoring the outcome of treatment.
Around 4-5 thousand people fall into a coma in Poland every year. Some of them die, some instantly wake up and some remain in a state of limbo between life and death. “They are the patients, “Alarm Clock” is for them”, stated Ewa Błaszczyk, President of the “Akogo?” Foundation.