Concerned over the escalating rate of heart failure cases in the country, Dr. Chetan Rathi, Consultant Cardiologist & Electrophysiologist at Acharya Vinoba Bhave Rural Hospital (AVBRH), Nagpur advises patients to pay attention to their heart health during the covid pandemic and imbibe healthy lifestyle habits & be aware of the advanced cardiac care available in the country to reduce the risk of heart failure fatality.
Heart failure is often misunderstood by masses. It’s not a sudden occurrence or an episode. It’s a serious medical condition and has a misleading name; a heart with heart failure doesn’t suddenly stop working. Instead, heart failure develops slowly as the heart muscle gradually weakens. The “failure” refers to the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
For effective Heart Failure management, Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices like pacemakers are used to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Another device called defibrillator is a device that restores a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart. It is used to prevent or correct an arrhythmia, a heartbeat that is uneven or that is too slow or too fast. Defibrillators can also restore the heart’s beating if the heart suddenly stops functioning.
Speaking on the advanced medical devices being used to treat high risk patients, Dr. Rathi who is also Director, HRUDAYAM – Heart Care and Arrythmia Clinic, Ramdaspeth, Nagpur, says, “A highly sophisticated Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy device called CRT-D is used globally as a combo device offering the benefit of both pacemaker and defibrillator. In fact, possibly the world’s thinnest quadripolar CRT-D is now available in India, with exceptional longevity of 10 years for more streamlined patient care.”
As cardiologists in India embrace technologies and techniques that are at par with global healthcare levels, it is vital that patients with heart ailments in India be aware of the latest medical advancements such as CRT-D, now being engaged in the country. Patients with high risk of heart failure must consult their cardiologists for such solutions that can reduce the risk of fatal heart failures in them. Any symptoms pertaining to heart failures such as shortness of breath, persistent cough or wheezing, fatigue, weakness, chest pains, swelling in legs, ankles or feet, must not be ignored.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) of U.K. recommends adopting such technologically advanced CRT-D devices for treating heart failure as often the extended battery life is of clinical and patient benefit and associated with fewer replacement procedures.
Heart failure not only heightens the risk of mortality, morbidity and worsens the patient’s quality of life, but also puts a huge burden on the overall healthcare system of the country. The increase in the incidence of heart failure among people in India is also possibly because India remains burdened under the various risk factors of traditional cardiovascular diseases. However, access to such highly advanced and sophisticated technologies in India such as high-energy CRT-D can hopefully manage the cases of heart failures and save lives.