Malala shifted to Birmingham hospital
16 October, 2012
BIRMINGHAM: Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old activist who was shot and injured by Taliban in Swat, arrived in Britain and was shifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for specialist care on Monday.
Malala Yousafzai, who was attacked on her school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of the Swat valley last Tuesday, flew in to Birmingham Airport in central England at around 3:50 pm.
She will be treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, a highly specialised facility where British soldiers seriously wounded in Afghanistan are treated, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said.
Doctors in Pakistan have said Malala needs treatment for a damaged skull and "intensive neuro-rehabilitation".
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the "barbaric" attack on Malala had "shocked Pakistan and the world". "Malala will now receive specialist medical care in an NHS (National Health Service) hospital," he said.
The unit at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital that will treat Malala is known for dealing with complex trauma cases and has treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.
Built at a cost of 545 million pounds ($877 million), the hospital in central England has the world's largest single-floor critical care unit for patients with gunshot wounds, burns, spinal damage and major head injuries.
"Injuries to bones in the skull can be treated very successfully by the neurosurgeons and the plastic surgeons," said Duncan Bew, consultant trauma surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust in London.
Judging the best way forward in such difficult cases requires a wide range of experienced medics working as a team.
"In trauma, it is really the coordinated impact of intensive care that is critical. It's not just about keeping the patient alive but also maximising their rehabilitation potential. With neurological injuries that is paramount," said Bew.
Just how much damage Malala has suffered is unclear, although doctors said youth was on her side since a young brain has more ability to recover from injury than a mature one.
"On the positive side, Malala has passed two major hurdles -the removal of the bullet and the very critical 48-hour window after surgery," said Anders Cohen, head of neurosurgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Centre in New York.