Project to be initiated in 40 taluks of three divisions of hospital — Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kalaburagi
To avoid delay in providing diagnosis and treatment to heart attack patients in rural areas, the State-run Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences is set to start a heart attack (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction -STEMI) management project at taluk level.
To be taken up under the Union Health Ministry’s National Health Mission (NHM) coordinated Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) programme, this STEMI India project will be initiated in 40 taluks of three Jayadeva divisions — Bengaluru, Mysuru and Kalaburagi — which will be the hub hospitals.
Institute director C.N. Manjunath said the NHM had approved a sum of ₹2.3 crore for the project. Doctors in taluk hospitals and primary health centres, who are the first point of contact for patients in rural areas, will be trained to diagnose heart attack cases at the earliest and start initial treatment within the golden hours. The project will run on a hub-and-spoke model, he said.
Nearly 25% of deaths in India are owing to cardiovascular diseases, the most common of which are heart attacks.
“As heart attack treatment is time-dependent, the main objective is to diagnose at the earliest and initiate treatment. For every 30 minutes delay in initiating treatment for heart attack, the death rate is likely to increase by 7%. This project will significantly reduce mortality rate,” Dr. Manjunath said.
Under the project, each taluk (spoke) hospital will be provided with a heart attack management kit that includes an ECG machine, defibrillator, pulse oximeter, and a mobile phone. The moment an ECG is taken, it is transferred to the divisional Jayadeva hospital for a confirmed diagnosis through the cloud system. “This will also alert the hospital about the patient’s visit. If the designated taluk hospital is within 30-40 km of the divisional hub (Jayadeva) hospital, the patient will be transferred directly to the hospital in a ‘108’ ambulance,” he said.
“In distant taluks where travel time is going to take more than one hour, the patient will be provided thrombolytic therapy for dissolving clots. This will help the patient buy 24 hours time. Meanwhile, after a few hours the patient will be transferred to the hub hospital for angioplasty. Otherwise, during a heart attack, angioplasty should be performed within the first six hours,” the doctor explained.
Pointing out that the maximum benefits and maximum reduction in death rate can be seen when a patient is treated within three to six hours after onset of symptoms of heart attack, Dr. Manjunath said: “Every case is recorded and will be tracked and followed for three-four years after treatment. The objective is to reduce death rate and also ensure that the patient survives with a good heart function.”
This project will also motivate and encourage physicians in rural areas to treat heart attack with confidence. People will also be assured that they are being treated in consultation with a tertiary care hospital. As of now there is no supervised treatment, the doctor added.