The Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) will soon offer advanced heart care facilities such as angioplasty with the State Government having sanctioned a catheterisation laboratory.

Hospital Deputy Medical Superintendent Isaac Christian Moses told The Hindu that once the laboratory became operational, the CMCH would be equipped to provide most of the advanced treatments for heart care.

Coronary angioplasty is a procedure used to open narrow or blocked coronary (heart) arteries to restore blood flow to the heart muscle.

A stent is inserted into the affected artery through a blood vessel to enlarge it adequately to allow for smooth blood flow.

The hospital had submitted a proposal to seek Rs. 5 crore for the catheterisation laboratory.

Further, he said that the hospital was also going to establish a separate ward with 12 beds for its Department of Cardiology to treat patients with heart problems. It is likely to be opened next week.

Dr. Moses, who is holding additional charge of the Cardiology Department, said that at present, patients with heart problems were treated at the Intensive Coronary Care Unit (ICCU).

Once stabilised, they were sent to the general ward. The new ward would enable patients to get attention that is specific to their needs, he said.

Equipment

The CMCH also had equipment to detect blocks in the artery in the heart and the ICCU had 12 ventilators and other high-end equipment.

This year alone (till August 30), the CMCH treated 62,382 persons with heart-related problems as outpatients, which included 43,358 electrocardiograms.

A total of 1,674 were admitted to the ICCU. So far, the hospital had recorded 96 deaths this year.

Coimbatore region is witnessing large numbers of consanguineous marriages (marriages between blood relatives), which can lead to congenital heart defects in their children.

Life-style induced heart problems and congenital heart defects constitute the bulk of the cases treated by Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH).

Some of the other major factors include genetic, says Dr. Moses.

Congenital heart defects

Prashant Vaijyanath Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart Institute, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital, said that congenital heart defects were conditions present at birth and affected the structure of a baby’s heart.

“Some babies born with a heart defect appear healthy initially and can be sent home before their heart defect is detected. It is estimated that about 300 infants with such undetected defects are discharged each year in India.”

Some of the factors that increase the risk for congenital heart defects during pregnancy are obesity, diabetes, and smoking, he added.

Consultant and Interventional Cardiologist at KMCH R. Suresh Kumar stressed preventive cardiology, what with the age threshold for heart attacks having dropped to 44.

Healthy food and exercise are the keys to a healthy heart.

Ambulance services

If you suddenly feel a tight band around the chest or like something heavy sitting on the chest, call an ambulance immediately, for it could be a heart attack, says H. Mohan, Regional Manager (Western Region), GVK EMRI-108 Ambulance Services.

The 108 ambulances not only have the facility to take ECG but have also a tie-up with hospitals that have the requisite facilities to quickly treat heart-related ailments.

"Such patients need to be transported in the safest possible manner. The stretchers must ensure minimum physical movement en route to the hospital," he added.