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Treadmill stress testing starts in LWH Manali

Posted by: Philip Alex | Posted on: May 13th, 2017 | 0 Comments

Saju was a thirty seven year old patient who came to us with crushing chest pain which started when he was shovelling snow. In hospital he was diagnosed with a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Quick and timely thrombolysis (to dissolve the clot in his heart) saved his life. He was discharged safely in three days time and advised further follow up with a cardiologist in Chandigarh.

The health of the inhabitants of this valley has changed over the years. Heart disease was unheard of earlier. Now we are seeing more diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Whether this is due to less physical activity or a change in the diet of the people is unclear. It a pattern noticed all over India. 

In LWH Manali we are able to thrombolyse and take care of the acutely ill cardiac patient. However till now we did not have stress testing or the ability to uncover latent or hidden ischaemia. Failure to do so could result in a calamitous heart attack for those predisposed to cardiac illness. We initiated the treadmill test here in LWH manali yesterday (12th May 2017).

Dr. Chuck Thompson is a cardiologist from the United States who returns every year to help Dr. Anna Alexander and conduct a cardiac camp here for the many patients seen all year round and for new patients who need help. This has been a boon for so many patients who have received timely and appropriate advice and have been guided to take steps to obtain relevant treatment. Dr. Chuck and Dr. Anna started treadmill testing here since we have procured a very good machine which will now enable them to guide patients in time and allow them to rest assured that they are safe with their current medication or be advised to go to a higher centre for further investigations. This will be a boon for Manali and for the people here. 

The treadmill test is a moving platform that makes the patient walk, at first slowly then at increasing speeds and inclination. All the while the patients are being monitored and their ECG is continuously recorded. This uncovers any potential area of ischaemia or blockage where the blood supply to the heart is not what it should be, and shows up on the changes in the ECG which are detected and recorded. This permits the doctors to know if these patients need further tests or not. If they pass the treadmill test, it is unlikely that the patients will have any heart attacks in the near future. 

We are grateful to Drs. Chris and Taehee Shin who had approached  Interserve through whom this machine has been  donated  for the people of Manali. 

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