Anantnag, July 14: Government Medical College Anantnag, despite having a Cardiology Unit headed by a senior consultant, is without the all-important cardiac catheterization lab, commonly known as a Cath Lab, meant to perform tests and procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.
After the district hospital was taken over by the GMC Anantnag, there have been some add ons and several facilities have been upgraded; however, the establishment of a Cath lab will be a special facility that would cater to the patients from not only Anantnag but from Kulgam, Shopian and parts of Pulwama district as well.
"In the event of a heart attack, there is a 'golden hour' for the patient during which his/her life can be saved. If the patient fails to reach the hospital in time and isn't treated within an hour, there is a maximum chance of his/her death,” a Medico said.
A health facility like GMC Anantnag receives multiple cases of minor and major heart attacks daily. Some with serious conditions are referred to Srinagar hospitals like SMHS and SKIMS Soura for specialized treatment. Many often do not make it and die on the way to these hospitals.
"My Aunt suffered a minor heart attack last winter. When I narrated the symptoms to a doctor friend over the phone he immediately asked us to reach the hospital. After the consultation, the doctor in GMC Anantnag asked us not to panic and wait after giving some injections to her. My doctor friend, however, suggested taking her to Srinagar instantly for Angiography, the facility which isn't available here,” said Yawar Reshi, a local.
Reshi said they reached a Srinagar hospital in time, and through angiography, it was detected that she needed stents as there were blockages at two places in her arteries. “It would have been fatal for her had we stayed at GMC Anantnag. Early detection of the blockades can save many lives,” he added.
The doctors in GMC Anantnag say that the establishment of Cath Lab in GMC Anantnag can save hundreds of lives and can also ease the load on hospitals of Srinagar.
"The golden period for a patient is lost during travel. When we receive a heart attack patient, we determine the positivity or negativity by ECG and Trop T, which is a time-consuming process,” a doctor posted at GMC Anantnag said’
The doctor added that afterward, if the Trop T comes out positive, meaning the patient has suffered a heart attack, the immediate treatment is Thrombolysis. “If that doesn't work, then angioplasty is the advanced treatment procedure which isn't available at GMC Anantnag. The establishment of Cath lab here can surely help in declining the fatality rate due to heart attacks, "the doctor added.
Principal GMC, Dr Tahir Ahmed, while talking to The Rising Kashmir, said that they have already sent a requisition to the government for the establishment of Cath Lab and acquiring MRI machinery.
“There is a long process to get it approved, but so far, we have received a positive response from the concerned authorities, and we are hopeful of getting one soon.”
She said that the GMC currently has a cardiology section operational where a senior consultant, Dr Showkat Shah, is available for consultation.
“He conducts Echo tests daily, and when the need arises, we can enhance the staff for operating cath lab too,” he added.