Precautions are the key, and knowledge is the tool
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by Coronavirus, and is currently the ongoing Pandemic which has brought the whole world to a standstill. People have been facing lot of problems during the pandemic and there is no visible end to either of them. In current times, precautions are the key, and knowledge is the tool. According to WHO, before the pandemic, diseases related to heart (cardiovascular diseases) were the number one cause of deaths in the whole world. So in order to gain some knowledge about cardiology with reference to COVID-19 in both the terms of management and scenerio, in Jammu, We have the man himself answering and clearing all our doubts, Dr SUSHIL SHARMA, Head, Department of Cardiology, Super Specialty Hospital (SSH), Jammu
Question:-Tell us in brief about the various facilities being provided by the department of cardiology SSH Jammu, and how covid crisis has been a challenge in providing healthcare services? Answer:- Department of cardiology SSH Jammu is one of the most forerunners in terms of logistics, patient care and performing various complex coronary procedures and implanting of complex cardiac devices at par with any cardiology setup in India. Since I have took over as head of department around 17000 coronary and peripheral angiographies, angioplasties, Permanent pacemaker implantation and CRT devices implantation have been done on routine basis and with minimal complications rate comparable with some of the best cardiology setups in world. During Covid crisis all our resident doctors and paramedical staff from all departments have worked in cohesion and unison risking their lives and providing utmost care to patients with cardiac ailments.
Question:-How administration has helped in facilitating the health care at grass roots levels during covid times when healthcare setups are already overburdened? Answer:- We are blessed enough to have a clinician with distant vision as our Principal and under the able guidance of our Advisor and FCR Health and Medical Education we have been able to tackle this crisis very much effectively with due care being provided to patients with cardiac ailments. As a part of this, under the visionary guidance of FCR HME a WhatsApp portal has been launched recently in Jammu province as a part of Save Heart initiative so as to bridge the gap between primary care physicians and cardiologists and save the time of golden hour in the management of patients with cardiac emergencies.
Question:-Has it been difficult for patients with cardiac ailments to consult you and your team during this crisis or have you been able to tide over it? Answer:- Department of cardiology is the only department which hasn’t stopped functioning or performing procedures during this hour of crisis, as patients with cardiac emergencies are left with minimum choice of life and death. In most of cardiac emergencies as we say that time is muscle, I think my department has worked very hard including my residents and paramedical staff in delivering the utmost cardiac care to all the patients, within the shortest possible span of time. Besides consultation has also been provided on telephone or video call whenever possible, in the best interest of patients at all odd and even times. Life saving procedures like temporary pacemaker implantation and angioplasties have never been delayed and deferred during this whole time and a lot of precious lives have been saved well in time.
Question:-Tell us something about the recent achievements by the department of cardiology SSH Jammu in academics and patient healthcare? Answer:- Department of Cardiology SSH Jammu is blessed enough to have been allotted two DNB cardiology seats at one go and at the very first attempt after being thoroughly inspected by the inspectors from national board of examinations. This year two DNB cardiology residents have been enrolled at department of cardiology SSH Jammu. Besides adding to the academics and research this will go a long way in providing cardiac care to patients as well as adding more cardiologists to the pool. In terms of patient care recently a number of complex cardiac devices have been implanted successfully in various patients for which earlier patients had to travel to distant places to get it done. Complex Primary PCI procedures are now been performed routinely which initially were being performed on a less scale due to various constraints. We have been able to perform simple and complex cardiac procedures in our centre with less complication rates. In short we have been able to perform all the procedures for which patients initially had to travel to far off places which was having a huge social and economic impact on the lives of people.
Question:-What have you done during this crisis to ensure that non-covid patients with cardiac ailments don’t suffer? Answer:- Since this crisis began I along with my whole team of residents and faculty have been on toes to ensure that no patient with cardiac ailments is neglected. Already the OPD services have been resumed from past few weeks and patients are given appointments on particular days on OPD basis. Besides those patients who are presented to medical emergency are being shifted to cardiology department on everyday basis after initial treatment, for further management and evaluation. No cardiac procedure has been delayed due to covid crisis and we are fortunate enough in this aspect and God willing we will continue with same zeal and enthusiasm. During covid period we have done near about 500 life saving cardiac procedures.
Question:- What are your future plans, vision for the department of Cardiology SSH Jammu and establishment of advanced Cardiac Centre? Answer:- As already mentioned we are already managing and treating patients with complex cardiac problems at par with other institutions and we will continue to do so to relieve the suffering of mankind and provide them the same healthcare which is provided at various national and international reputed institutes. Already as you are aware that I have never been into private practice so as to devote my whole time to hospital and trying to improve the healthcare in every best possible method because ultimately it is the wishes of people, after relieving from sufferings, which provide inner peace and solace to me and I will continue to do so till my last breath. My vision of having advanced cardiac centre in lines with AIIMS/PGI is the requirement of time in view of increased burden of Cardiovascular diseases in this region so that no patient from our region will need to travel miles in order to get treatment for cardiac ailments.
(The writer is former student of JKPS Kunjwani and presently studying law at Bennett University, Noida).
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