1. What should one do if he develops a heart attack?
Deaths related to heart attacks most commonly occur in the first one hour, usually because of a type of abnormalities in heart rhythm (ventricular fibrillation). Many hospitals have the equipment (defibrillator), which can correct ventricular fibrillation.
2. What are the facilities available in "Chitra" for treatment of heart attack?
So the first thing to do if a heart attack is suspected is to reach the nearest hospital, which has the facility.
We have all the most modern facilities needed for the management of a heart attack.. We are now admitting patients with heart attack and performing treatment, using balloons, a procedure called "primary angioplasty". Another modality of treatment, thrombolysis i.e., "dissolving the blood clot with medicines" is also available. Coronary stenting using drug-coated stents is also routinely done.
3. What are the common heart diseases in children?
Most common are those due to birth defects (eg. "holes in the heart"). Children also develop a type of arthritis (called rheumatic fever), which can involve the heart and later lead on to valve diseases.
4. How are congenital disorders in children treated?
Until recently most congenital heart disorders were treated with surgery. Now there are new "devices", "coils" etc. that can be used to close "holes" and abnormal blood vessels with out surgery. All the types of these non-surgical treatments are available in our hospital.
5. What are rhythm disorders of heart?
They are two types of disorders of heart rhythm. One is where the heart beats slowly and inadequately. These are called bradycardias. Usually they are corrected by implanting, what is called a pacemaker.
6. How are diseases of heart valves treated?
The second type of heart rhythm abnormalities is called "tachycardias", where the heart inappropriately beats faster. These abnormalities can be usually treated with medicines, and if not controlled, a new treatment modality called "radiofrequency ablation(RFA)", can be employed where radio energy is used to burn abnormal electrical pathways in the heart. We are routinely doing RFA.
If there is narrowing of a valve, it can be dilated with balloons (balloon valvuloplasty). All types of balloon treatments are available in our hospital. If the main problem is a valve leak, most likely it will require surgical replacement of the valve.
7. Are these treatments costly in Chitra?
Treatment costs depend on the income of the patient. Really poor patients will get free treatment including, which will include waiver of the cost for balloon valvuloplasty, angioplasty, stenting etc. Patients who are able to pay will be charged reasonably. Our medical social workers help patients to apply and get financial assistance from Prime Minister's relief fund and other similar agencies.