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Telemedicine link for Air India

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CRUCIAL LINK: Devi Shetty, Chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya (centre), and Praful Patel, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation (right), at the launch of the telemedicine link between Air India facilities in Mumbai and Narayana Hrudayalaya, in Ban galore on Saturday.
CRUCIAL LINK: Devi Shetty, Chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya (centre), and Praful Patel, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation (right), at the launch of the telemedicine link between Air India facilities in Mumbai and Narayana Hrudayalaya, in Ban galore on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Union Minister Praful Patel and Devi Shetty launch the facility

Facility provided free of cost to Air India Three ECG machines installed at the Mumbai airport, Nariman Point and Air India clinic Plans afoot to install ECG facility on board Air India aircraft

BANGALORE: A telemedicine link between Air India facilities in Mumbai and Narayana Hrudayalaya here was launched on Saturday by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel and hospital chairman Devi Shetty.

Explaining the use of the facility, Dr. Shetty said as part of the telemedicine link, the hospital has installed ECG machines, one each at the Mumbai airport, at Nariman Point and the Air India clinic, and started interpreting the ECG data here.

If an Air India passenger, staff or crew develop chest pain or other symptoms of possible heart trouble, he/she can be immediately checked and referred without delay to cardiologists at Narayana Hrudayalaya.

ECG facility

"We are in the process of planning for ECG facility on board Air India and Indian aircraft which should help deal with emergency situations and enable getting advice from specialists far away,'' he said.

With younger Indians prone to heart attacks and many likely to develop symptoms while at an airport and on a flight, such emergency care has become necessary, Dr. Shetty said.

Most heart attack victims are in their 40s and 50s, and emergency care within the first few hours can save lives.

Treatment

"Without adequate treatment after a heart attack, approximately 50 per cent patients may die and with adequate immediate treatment the mortality rate can be reduced to less than 5 per cent.

Most deaths following a heart attack occur within the first hour and this means that a possible heart attack must be diagnosed before it is too late,'' he said. Narayana Hrudayalaya has established telemedicine links with several hospitals in the country and a few outside the country.

It has treated 18,000 patients through the link and nearly 1,000 were acute heart attack cases. The patient or the specialist caring for the patient have to be available at the other end to use the telemedicine link by correctly conveying the symptoms and then getting the right advice for treatment.

It may even work from a patient's home, but a person with enough medical knowledge has to be available.

The Union Minister congratulated Dr. Shetty on providing telemedicine link free of cost to Air India.

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