The cath lab at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH) has finally started functioning after a long delay. The facility, which was inaugurated around mid-July hadn’t started its operations for close to four-and-a-half months due to several reasons, finally did so from December 1. The functioning of the lab means that the heart attack patients who go to MGMGH are no longer being given only drug treatment, but procedures like angiogram and angioplasty can also be performed. The hospital administration had earlier been receiving flak for the non-availability of an essential facility like cath lab, despite MGMGH being one of the biggest tertiary care centers in the central districts.
According to the hospital administration, since the facility came under operation, around 15 patients, all above age 40 have been treated at the cath lab. While all the 15 people underwent an angiogram, the procedure of angioplasty was done for a total of eight people. An angiogram is a test to diagnose the block in the coronary artery and angioplasty is a procedure performed to break the clots within the artery and opening the artery. The lab currently operates twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. The treatment would be provided at free of cost for those who’re eligible under Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.
Dean of MGMGH Dr G Anitha said, “The cath lab has been functioning well since the start. It has been equipped with the latest technologies. Four doctors and six staff and two technicians have been deputed for the facility.” While heart attack patients are being provided treatment since the functioning of the cath lab, treatment for children with congenital heart diseases would be taking some more time. “The procedure of device closure for children with heart diseases would be started in the next few months,” a source from MGMGH told TOI. Children, who are diagnosed of congenital heart diseases through Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) team’s inspections at schools, are currently only being referred to private hospitals in the city and other hospitals in Salem, Coimbatore, Chennai etc. Apart from this, the other procedure for the adults, mitral valvotomy, used to increase the opening of a narrowed valve, would also be introduced at cath lab later. – TOI