Published On : Mon, Apr 5th, 2021

WORLD HEALTH DAY: Be Heart Healthy!

(Time to revive the Doctor – Patient Relationship)

The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7th April, under the sponsorship of World Health Organisation (WHO).

Talking on the occasion of World Health Day, Dr. Nitin Tiwari, Senior Cardiologist shared vital information on good cardiac health and Doctor-Patient Relationship.

On the occasion of World Health Day, it becomes necessary to emphasize the importance of having a healthy heart especially in the times of COVID-19. Heart diseases are affecting younger population in India and heart failures can lead to 50% of total deaths in world in next five years and 90% of total deaths in next ten years which is worse than most of the cancers.

Dr. Tiwari explains that the sudden occlusion of one of the arteries leading to damage in the heart muscle is called as a heart attack. The symptoms are heaviness in the center of chest, sweating, breathlessness and at times pain in the left shoulder. The first hour during, the heart attack is called as the “Golden hour” because if the person is treated with an emergency angioplasty (called as primary angioplasty) in this one hour, the heart damage can be prevented or lessened and the chances of survival go up. Such patients should be referred to a reputed hospital equipped with a Cathlab for primary angioplasty. As they say- “Time is muscle”.

If a person can’t reach to a Cathlab equipped hospital in a couple of hours then Injections known as thrombolytics can be given to such patients and they can be transferred to a tertiary care hospital for primary angioplasty, subsequently.

He also explained that heart failure is a consequence of heart attack. Not all heart attack patients develop heart failure. But those with lot of damage to the pumping of the heart (Normal Ejection fraction being 60-70%) eventually develop heart failure.

A common observation for such patient is that they get breathless and restless on lying down and need to sit up to get back their breath. Such patients need to restrict their water intake and can be treated with diuretics (also known as water pills) which take out the excess water from the body. At times we also need to put a device named biventricular pacemaker to improve the pumping of heart.

Dr. Tiwari informed that now that COVID vaccines are being given, it is becoming a common query that whether cardiac patients can receive the vaccine or not. Addressing the same he said that the vaccines are found to be safe and efficacious and can easily be administered to heart patients. There is no need to stop the blood thinners (Aspirin/ Ticagretor etc) before getting the vaccine. Heart patient don’t have extra risk of developing COVID-19 illness, but if they do get it, the consequences can be more devastating, hence Covid appropriate behavior like masks and social distancing is the need of the hour.

“It is high time we revive the doctor – patient relationship. During the times of our grand parents, the patients were more unassuming and believed their doctors more and the results were there to see even with limited treatment options”, said Dr. Tiwari.

But now with the advent of social media, Google etc, people believe whatever lies which are spread on platforms lie whatsapp etc, without even confirming them. There is a generalized deterioration of social and emotional values. I am not saying that all doctors are angels, as there can be a rotten apple in the lot. But only if patients start believing their doctors fully and when doctors start feeling the emotions of the patient and his relatives fully, we can strengthen this bond further. Doctors should try and “heal” the patients rather than just treat the disease. And lastly, being positive, hopeful and praying can help people recover faster from any disease, when proper and timely treatment is given.