On an average, 108 caters to 130 emergencies related to cardiac care every day in the State

Soon, many more 108 ambulances will be equipped with cardiac-care support mechanism.

The State government proposes to install 200 automated external defibrillators (AED) and multi-para monitors in ambulances across the State. Currently, 57 ambulances in the State have AEDs and monitors. AEDs trigger artificial shocks when the heart of a cardiac emergency patient stops enroute a medical facility.

“The multi-para monitor gives us the pulse rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation level in the blood. It is possible to take an ECG while on the move and transmit it to the emergency response centre,” said B. Prabhudoss, regional manager of GVK-Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), which operates the 108 service.

GVK-EMRI has partnered with the State government for an integrated approach to STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) management under the Tamil Nadu health systems project (TNHSP).

STEMI is a type of heart attack caused by complete obstruction of coronary artery, an artery that delivers blood to the heart, said B.N. Sridhar, chief operating officer of GVK-EMRI, during a presentation held as part of World Heart Day programme.

Mr. Prabhudoss said the challenge lay in quickly recognising the pain, seeking emergency medical service and rushing to the appropriate medical facility for cardiac care.

“It is possible to transmit the ECG from the ambulance to partnering hospitals under the project. For instance, Government Stanley Medical College Hospital is a partner hospital in Chennai,” he said.

Going a step further, the ECG can also be transmitted to any hand-held device or gadget of a cardiologist, including a smartphone or tablet. They can diagnose and provide advice enroute the hospital, he said.

Under this, the first pilot project was implemented in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Karur and Dindigul and has completed 200 cases. Of this, the 108 service has transported about 60 cases.

Following the pilot, the government is looking at installing 200 AEDs and monitors in ambulances across the State. There are a total of 629 ambulances of 108 in Tamil Nadu, of which 35 are in Chennai, the officials said.

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