RIC, state-of-the-art hospital serving poor & needy heart patients

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by Muhammad Azhar Siddique

RAWALPINDI, Mar 04 (APP):
Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC), a state-of-the-art hospital is providing free heart surgery facility to poor and deserving patients with free medicines.
RIC has become the first hospital in South Asia to use the latest MitraClip (Abbott Vascular) procedure for heart treatment. MitraClip technique is the world’s first therapy to treat mitral regurgitation (leakage of blood backward through the mitral valve). It targets patients who cannot undergo an open-heart surgery, usually older patients for whom the surgery is considered too risky.
At RIC, the procedure was performed on Pakistan former president Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, making the institute first in Pakistan, as well as the region, to use this technique successfully.
The technique carries some risk of complications but no such case has yet been reported at the hospital, RIC Chief Executive Officer Major General (r) Dr. Azhar Mehmood Kayani said.
The MitraClip procedure was implemented in the United States and Europe at a cost of Rs 10 million but the RIC performed it for Rs 4 million, he said terming the achievement as an “honour” for Pakistan.
Dr. Azhar Kiani said, the normal heart surgery treatment costs upto Rs 300,000 but it was being provided to the poor patients free of cost.
He informed, “We have requested Punjab government to increase the budget for up-gradation of various departments and services.”
Dr. Kiani further said that an Electrophysiology department has been established at RIC to treat children suffering from by “birth heart problems.”
He said specialist doctors were providing treatment to the patients round-the-clock adding 1000 open heart surgeries and 1400 Angioplasties were being carried out annually.
Gen. Kiani said that prominent heart surgeons including Dr. Hasnat, Dr. Kareem and Dr. Mansoor Ahmed from London imparted training to the doctors and other Para-medical staff of the Institute.
He said, it was the only hospital in the twin cities where patients from Rawalpindi Division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan were being provided modern heart treatment facilities.
The ratio of death from cardiac arrests could be minimized adopting preventive measures. Hypertension, Diabetes, Smoking, use of Alcohol, Physical inactivity and stress were the most common causes of increasing heart diseases in the country, which could be avoided through balanced diet, regular exercise and regular checkup.
He said, nearly 80,000 deaths from heart diseases could be avoided annually in the country through preventive measures.
It is the only hospital in the twin cities where the emergency ward has 48 beds, 26 ventilators and five CT angiography machines.
The 272-bed hospital built in 2012 at a cost of Rs2.8 billion at Rawal Road is spread over 80 kanals of land and handling 400 patients at a time and up to 1,000 daily.
Dr. Kiani said the mortality rate in Emergency department (ER) of the hospital is less than 1% and in Surgical department not more than 2-3 percent.
Only reason behind the success is state of the art facilities, well trained staff, availability of required medicines and modern techniques applied by the Institute, he added.
Dr. Kiani said 80 percent of the world heart patients exist in South Asia because the people of this region have narrow blood arteries. He said fats begin to accumulate in the arteries since two years of age onwards, adding unhealthy life style was one of the major reasons behind sharp increase of heart patients in the region. He said, 60 out of 100 heart patients brought to the hospitals in serious condition while the remaining 40 patients die on the road because most of the people do not have the idea about the symptoms of heart attack and angina.