CAD initiative donates 100 ECG machines in remote areas

CAD initiative donates 100 ECG machines in remote areas

An ECG machine being handed over to a remote Primary Health Centre in Kodagu district.

The PHCs in Guthigar, Bellare and Aranthodu in Sullia taluk can now boast of well-equipped ECG machines thanks to the efforts of like-minded doctors led by Dr Padmanabh Kamath, HoD of Cardiology and professor at KMC, Mangaluru.

Dr Kamath, who started CAD (Cardiology at doorsteps), a crusade against coronary artery disease initiative— a WhatsApp network of over 450 like-minded doctors across eight doctors in Coastal Karnataka and Malnad region, is engaged in screening poor patients for cardiac problems in remote areas for free. The group was set up in February 2018 and has installed 100 ECG machines in the PHCs of interior villages with the help of donors. “When a patient visits with a symptom of a heart attack, an ECG is immediately carried out and the results are shared on WhatsApp. If it's a heart attack, then the patient is referred to the nearest hospital for treatment,” Kamath told DH.

He said, “We want to instal 250 ECG machines by 2020 and cover three more districts including Hassan and Kasargod. The PHCs in Humcha, Koppa, Muniyala, Shikaripura, Sajipanadu will get ECG machines next week. In fact, one of the pilgrims who suffered a cardiac arrest, supported the CAD initiative to instal ECG machine at Humcha,” Kamath added.

In Udupi district alone, 30 ECG machines have been installed in remote PHCs with the objective to 'Save a heart, save a life’. This has been donated by a single donor from Udupi, who did not wish to disclose his name. “We are concentrating on remote areas only. About 80% of the ECG machines have been installed in PHCs. If the PHCs fail to have a permanent doctor, then it is installed in the nearby general practitioner’s clinic. At Balehonnur in Chikkamagaluru, the ECG machine was installed in a general practitioner’s clinic while in Sringeri, it has been installed in a Janaushadi Kendra. At Horanadu, the ECG machine has been installed in a clinic run by the temple,” he said.

ECG machines are already installed at PHCs in Gonikoppa, Suntikoppa and Siddapura in Kodagu. The CAD initiative wanted to instal it in 15 places in Kodagu. Owing to natural calamities that wreaked havoc in Kodagu district, the initiative saw a setback, he said.

So far, cardiac diagnosis was achieved in more than 1,000 patients and 985 cases of ischaemic heart disease and 345 of unstable angina have been detected. About 124 heart attack patients were picked up and 95 angioplasties have been conducted, said Dr Kamath.

Dr Kamath said 71-year-old Leelavathi, a resident of Sullia and a heart patient, responded to Kamath’s mission of installing ECG machines and donated money from her pension to instal the ECG machine at Guthigaru. Sri Veera Venkatesh Charitable Trust has paid for five ECGs to be installed in village PHCs recently.