Nearly three months after Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital started round-the-clock angioplasty and stenting procedures for patients with heart attacks, Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital has also announced that it will keep its cardiac catheterization lab always open. On Friday, when fisheries minister D Jayakumar dedicated a new bi-plane digital subtraction angiogram cath lab (a hybrid facility that can deal with blood vessels in brain, heart and limbs) the hospital announced that it would soon post three doctors, an assistant professor and two postgraduate doctors, along with two nurses and two technicians on duty every night. So far, patients going to the hospital after 2pm were given medicines to clear blood clots and made to wait for angiogram until 7 am the next day when the cath lab opened.
Although the wait did not kill people, the outcome could be better with immediate angioplasty and stenting, doctors said. Compared to hospitals such as Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital, the number of cases done in Stanley cath lab was less in the last six months. “We will soon have a robust lab that will be able to do emergency surgeries with improved outcomes,” said hospital dean Dr S Ponnambala Namasivayam. Health minister C Vijaya Baskar said that the state would soon equip medical college hospitals in districts such as Villupuram, Dharmapuri, Thanjavur, Theni and Pudukkottai with state-of-the art centers that will function as tertiary care centers. Now, the state has nearly 10 cath labs and four bi-plane cath labs, where treatment is offered free to patients under the state health insurance scheme. – TOI