Bypass, Heart Transplant Last Resort, Say Experts

Speak of cheaper ways to treat heart ailments

A.G.K. Ghokale, consultant cardiothoracic and transplant surgeon at Global Hospitals, asked physicians and practicing doctors to deliver cost-effective medial treatment to heart patients.

Addressing the continuing Medical Education workshop, sponsored by Heart Failure Society of India and NTR University of Health Sciences, at KMC, here on Saturday, he said five to six potential and proven drugs were available for treating heart ailments which were also low-priced.

However, the drug industry was pushing a host of formulations which confused the doctors. The Heart Failure Society of India wanted to create awareness among practicing physicians, medical students, professionals and patients about standard treatment procedures available for treating heart diseases. Bypass surgery or transplants were the last resort and before reaching that stage, many options were available to provide quality life to patients. Adequate dosage of drugs was also important for full result, he said.

He said the society, which was started five years ago, conducted workshops at various colleges on a regional basis and at the State and national levels. This year, the annual conference of the society would be conducted in Chennai in December.

He said that heart transplant facility was available in India and it cost Rs. 7 to 8 lakh. He said the incidence of heart problems was 8 to 9 per cent in urban areas and 6 to 7 per cent in rural areas.

Registrar of Health University Dr. Venugopal said the university was planning to introduce a postgraduate course (MD) in Emergency Medicine considering its importance. Also, the university undertook a comprehensive programme to enhance teaching standards and lay emphasis on clinical training rather than classroom teaching. The university enrolled 30 visiting professors and introduced fellowships. It planned to start skill labs in all medical colleges. Advanced methods like stimulation and e-learning would be introduced.

S.A. Sattar, former Director of Medical Education, who delivered the keynote address asked doctors to be realistic and practical in treating patients. He said an artificial pump to supplement the performance of a diseased heart could be thought of before going for heart transplant.

•  ‘Five to six potential and proven low-priced drugs available for treating heart ailments’
•  Heart Transplant in India is available  and it costs Rs. 7 to 8 lakh: Dr AGK. Gokhale