CAD Life to train ambulance drivers in cardiac care

In a bid to reach out every nook and corner of the villages, Cardiology at Doorsteps (CAD), a crusade against coronary artery disease will take up yet another CAD Life initiative.

Dr Padmanabh Kamath, head, Department of Cardiology and professor at KMC, Mangaluru, said, “Under the initiative, we will involve both private and government ambulance drivers.
We will train them to handle the hand-held cordless ECG device
(SanketLife) so that technology reaches even the remote village.”

He said, “Though ECG machines are installed at primary health centres (PHCs) at villages through a CAD initiative, the benefit could not reach the remotest villages. The ECG at PHCs will not serve the purpose if a person develops cardiac arrest at midnight.”

“If the ambulance drivers are trained, then they can use the hand-held ECG and forward the report to the doctors through mobile phone, which helps in immediate diagnosis of the problem and shift the patients to the nearest health care facility,” he said.

A pilot project will be launched in Sringeri and Mudigere taluk of Chikkamagaluru in phase 1 of the CAD Life initiative, he added.

In the first phase, 10 such portable hand-held machines will be procured and ambulance drivers will be trained to use them.

Dr Kamath is also hoping of getting a favourable response from the government for the CAD Life initiative to train the ambulance drivers.

Dr Kamath felt the need of such a hand-held device when a 47-year-old woman from Balehole near Kalasa died of cardiac arrest in the wee hours on Monday.

“The patient suffered from chest pain and had visited Kalasa hospital on Sunday. After the ECG report showed cardiac arrest, the patient was advised to get admitted to a hospital in Mangaluru. Unfortunately, a huge tree had crashed on the road due to heavy rain in Kudremukh and had blocked the traffic. After two hours when the road was cleared for traffic, the patient had died,” he said.

Training the ambulance drivers will help doctors know the condition of the patient suffering from chest pain, so that first aid can be given to save the life of the patient, Dr Kamath explained.

In the new device, the ECG report can be generated within two-and-a-half minutes of placing the device on the patient’s chest. “Though the hand-held ECG is different from conventional ECG, it will help a doctor to know the condition of the patient in a remote village where health care facilities are minimal.”

The portable SanketLife ECG is developed by a startup based in Noida. Vipin of SanketLife said, “The potable ECG can be used during a home visit by doctors, OPD check-ups and also in bike ambulances in remote areas. Since 2015, the portable ECG is being marketed.”

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