To help in quick recovery of heart patients, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Hyderabad, has been offering advanced cardiac rehabilitation services, a first of its kind programme in the country. Heart attack survivors can attend the programme under the supervision of a physician and they will be made to perform tailored cardiac exercises through which over a period of time the pumping capacity of the heart increases. The patients after attending the programme have been able to run half marathons as well.
The duration of the programme depends on the damage that has been caused to the heart of the patient. Based on which, the programme will last from 3 to 6 months, costing between ₹1.5 lakh and ₹2 lakh for the whole programme. The patient has to spend 1 to 1.5 hours per session and there will be 12 sessions per month, explained the doctors working at the rehab centre.
Speaking to The Hindu, Muralidar Babi, assistant professor and cardiac rehabilitation specialist, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Hyderabad, said: “When a person goes through a heart attack and an angioplasty or a bypass procedure is performed on them, some patients have a drop in the pumping capacity of their heart. Routinely, these people are kept on maintenance capacity medicines and the root cause (pumping capacity) is ignored. In our programme, we push the heart to go ahead where we put an intensity on the heart and see whether it is safe or not, at the end of the programme, the heart becomes much stronger. Cardiac rehab reduces future hospital visits the patient has to make, and also brings down the intake of medicines of the patient.”
The centre was established in November 2021 and has facilitated about 40 patients till now. The centre includes a team of cardiac technicians and physiotherapists along with nurses. The team uses machines like Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET), Treadmill Test (TMT) and a set of cardiovascular equipment. CPET helps in identifying the safety zones of the patients in which we check whether the heart has the capacity to perform exercises or not, added Dr Muralidar.
There are conventional cardiac rehab centres as well across the country whose main aim is only to mobilise the patient as they undergo stents and bypass surgeries, the centre makes sure that the patient is able to perform their daily activities and nothing else, whereas advanced cardiac rehab centres at ESIC focus on increasing the heart pumping mechanism. Dr Muralidar thanked ESIC dean Dr Srinivas for supporting the establishment of the centre in the hospital.