Hyderabad: In a huge relief to poor heart attack patients, who find it difficult to access expensive cardiac emergency care in corporate hospitals, a unique initiative at Osmania General Hospital (OGH) has now become a super-successful model.
Since the launch of the ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) model, every month on average, the OGH cardiology wing saves the lives of at least 200 heart attack patients, a far cry from the days when getting treatment for the same in government hospitals was unthinkable.
Treating heart attacks, commonly known as Myocardial Infarction, is time-sensitive, which means early treatment has to be administered to save the patients. To this effect, the OGH cardiologists have figured out a way to ensure heart attack patients, especially those located in remote areas of Telangana with no access to hospitals with ICU cardiac care, receive immediate diagnosis and treatment.
To make this happen, the OGH Cardiology wing has established a hub and spoke model wherein nearly 20 government healthcare facilities across Telangana are remotely linked to it. “The moment a heart attack patient is admitted in one of these 20 facilities in the districts, the local trained doctor takes the patient’s ECG, which is transmitted to us at OGH. From then on, our specialists guide the local physician on treatment,” Head, Cardiology, OGH, Dr Syed Imamuddin said.
Before launching the STEMI initiative, the general physicians, nurses and paramedical staff at 20 government hospitals in districts underwent training on administering treatment to critical heart attack patients. It’s vital to conduct medical interventions on heart attack patients within the first few hours and the trained local physician are capable of taking ECG and administering thrombolytic therapy, which involves using drugs to dissolve blood clots.
“By administering immediate treatment to heart attack patients and stabilising them, the golden hour for treating such patients has been extended up to 20 hours. Our calculations have indicated that the farthest point in Telangana from OGH is about 6.5 hours away and any patient, after being stabilised, can be brought safely to OGH for further treatment,” Dr Imamuddin said.
The recently inaugurated CATH lab at OGH is being utilised to conduct angiogram, angioplasty, ablation and other life-saving heart procedures on such patients. “By ensuring that first treatment is provided at the local government health hospitals, we have managed to remove a major barrier, thus ensuring treatment within the golden hour,” he said.