Pilot project on the anvil for heart patients

State govt is all set to implement a programme to provide medical services to heart patients during golden hour

Published: 15th March 2023 07:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2023 07:46 AM   |  A+A-

Terminal , medicine , health
Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The State government is set to implement an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) programme to provide state-of-the-art medical services to people suffering from heart-related issues during ‘golden hour’.

Lack of proper facilities at hospitals often leads to delay in investigating cardiac issues, further resulting in death. M Venkata Sundaraiah of G Konduru village in NTR district died while being shifted to a hospital in Vijayawada as the condition of his heart could not be assessed at hospitals near his village.

According to official statistics, there are around 38 lakh people suffering from heart issues in the State and mortality rate among them is 32% per year. To prevent such deaths, the government is likely to enter into a pact with Chennai-based STEMI India by the end of March. The organisation has expanded its services in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Jharkhand.

As a pilot project, the government will develop hospitals in Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Vijayawada, Guntur, Tirupati, Kurnool and Anantapur as ‘hub’ centres, while area and district hospitals, besides teaching hospitals with no cath labs, will be developed as ‘spoke’ centres.

Under phase-one of the pilot project, the government will spend Rs 120 crore to set up cath labs at government teaching hospitals in Kurnool and Kakinada, while it will purchase ECG machines and injections used for thrombolysis in bulk for hospitals that will be developed as spokes.

Principal secretary (health) MT Krishna Babu explained, “We will run the pilot project for three to four months and extend it to the entire State with the help of private hospitals in Arogyasri network. Of the total, 91 hospitals have cath labs. The pilot project will begin within three months after commencement of training for doctors and para-medical staff. We have experienced cardiologists in the State and will start the programme even before an MoU with STEMI India is signed.”

Under the programme, physicians and paramedical staff at ‘spoke’ centres will be trained in treating patients with cardiac issues by conducting ECG tests. Doctors at ‘spoke’ centres will do the ECG test for patients who complain of heart problems and send the reports electronically to ‘hub’ hospitals. After taking suggestions from the expert, doctors at ‘spoke’ centres will proceed with thrombolysis as even a delay of half hour can damage the cardiac muscle by 50%. Following this, health personnel will have 24 hours to shift the patient for further investigation or surgery, if needed, increasing the chances to save the patient.

Elaborating, Krishna Babu said, “We are taking measures to save people from heart-related deaths by developing government hospitals to serve them during the golden hour. Injections for thrombolysis, costing over Rs 30,000 each, are also being procured in bulk at an estimated price of Rs 20,000 for ‘spoke’ centres.”


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