On April 4, the Brazilian Society of Hand Surgery (SBCM) launched an awareness and prevention campaign on brachial plexus injury. The campaign included the distribution of HQ The Arms of Nildo and Rony, made by the team of the ABRAÇO platform, which integrates CEPID NeuroMat, and the creation of contents for the dissemination of the lesion in social networks.
According to Dr. Marcelo Rosa Rezende, president of the Brazilian Society of Hand Surgery, the reason for creating the prevention campaign was the increase in cases of brachial plexus injury due to motorcycle accidents and the need to raise awareness about its consequences. "The brachial plexus injury is prevalent in Brazil and has increased in incidence with the use of motorcycles in large cities and even in the cities of the interior and remote places of the country. Because it is an injury that has great potential for severe and permanent upper limb sequelae, we decided to create the campaign to guide the population."
The highlight of the campaign were the two armies of brachial plexus surgery, which took place on May 3 and 4, in the state of Alagoas. Two cities, Arapiraca and Maceió, were chosen to host the joint effort. In Arapiraca, 5 people with brachial plexus injury were operated by 7 specialists, a procedure that took 11 hours. In Maceió, it was 15 hours of surgery. All patients were selected from the public health service. "It was very gratifying to be able to bring together renowned surgeons from various parts of the country to serve a population that needed this care", says Marcelo.
The SBCM also organized, on May 2, the "Symposium of injuries of the brachial plexus and peripheral nerves", with the presence of 60 specialists. During the event, in addition to discussions on the treatment of brachial plexus injury, there was an exchange of information about surgery techniques.
The idea of a partnership with SBCM in the release of the HQ comics came from a meeting between Daniel Dieb, a NeuroMat journalist, and Dr. Marcelo Rosa, president of SBCM. "I was trying to figure out how to deliver the booklet to the patients and what is the patient whereabouts after the accident. I went to the Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology (IOT) of the Hospital das Clínicas. The director is Dr. Marcelo Rosa. They suggested distributing the booklet within the SBCM", says Daniel.
On the use of the HQ in the campaign, Daniel also says: "I find the idea of the HQ very good to clarify what is the brachial plexus injury and how plexus surgeries work." He also suggests that upcoming comics can talk about doubts related to social security and financial aid; decision-making on transfer surgery or nerve grafts; muscle strengthening exercises; and psychological issues arising from adaptation to injury.
Campaigns such as the one made by Brazilian Society of Hand Surgery are important for helping to disclose the consequences of the injury, caused mostly by motorcycle accidents. Awareness of brachial plexus injury can help in the prevention of accidents, giving visibility to a problem that is still very little discussed.