Imagine how many lives could be saved if the time taken for a person with some manner of heart attack to reach the hospital comes down from six hours to just under three hours. And that’s exactly what STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) India is aiming to do as they expand their life-saving model to four large hospitals across Tamil Nadu. With three million Indians having cardiac issues every year, a ‘huge’ number of lives hang in balance.
STEMI India, a project that began two years ago to try and reduce deaths caused due to myocardial infarctions, will now expand their pilot project from one hospital to four major cardiac centres and see how the results compare. Incidentally, they provide training to ambulances, paramedics, doctors and other hospital staff to handle cardiac problems quicker and more effectively, besides networking with hospitals who have the staff and equipment to handle severe emergencies.
“For the last one year we had been studying how well our model worked at the Kovai Medical College and Hospital and the results have been impressive,” said Dr Mullasari Ajit S of the Madras Medical Mission, “And that is how we were able to reduce the time that a person took to reach the hospital after a heart attack, so drastically.” Now, the project will also extend to the Madras Medical Mission and Stanley Medical College in Chennai and the Christian Medical College in Vellore, to study the response time for 1,000 cases over the next nine months. “We will compare the data from before we started and the data we will collect now and show the increased patient survival rate to the government. Hopefully, that will convince them to adopt this system for the entire State and beyond,” he added. STEMI India’s project has been bolstered to a great extend by their stakeholders - namely GVK EMRI 108, the TN Government and ICMR. “Between the learning attitude of the ambulance staff and the coverage provided by the CM’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, things have been relatively good for the project,” he said. Ways to improve STEMI care in India as well as learning new techniques, is the focus of the STEMI conference being hosted in the city over the weekend. Almost all the top emergency management experts, cardiac surgeons and cardiologists will be a part of this conference.