In 2023, Gujarat grappled with a cardiac crisis, as reported by the Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) 108, with a staggering 72,573 cases. This marked a significant 35% increase from 2018, signaling a pressing need for comprehensive strategies to address the concerning trend. The state recorded a 29% annual rise compared to 2022, underlining the urgency for effective preventive measures.
The epicenter of this cardiac crisis was Ahmedabad, where EMRI data revealed an alarming rate of 298 calls per 1 lakh population, totaling 21,496 calls. Other districts, including Porbandar (1167 calls), Jamnagar (180 calls), and Devbhoomi Dwarka (1981 calls), also experienced high rates of cardiac emergencies, emphasizing the widespread nature of the issue.
Expert’s take on Gujarat’s Cardiac Crisis
Dr. Chirag Doshi’s take on the increasing Cardiac Emergencies in Gujarat
Dr. Chirag Doshi, the director of the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre (UNMICRC), has highlighted the increasing global incidence of cardiovascular diseases, attributing it to lifestyle choices and various risk factors.
In discussing the comparatively higher prevalence in the Saurashtra region, Dr. Doshi pointed to the significant role of tobacco consumption as a major risk factor. He emphasized that various factors, from dietary habits to sedentary lifestyles, contribute to the early onset of cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Doshi’s insights underscore the multifaceted nature of these health challenges, emphasizing the need for comprehensive interventions to address lifestyle-related risk factors and promote heart health.
Dr Kamal’s review on the rising cardiovascular diseases in Gujarat
Dr. Kamal Sharma, an interventional cardiologist based in the city, sheds light on the prevailing notion that cardiovascular disease is higher in major urban centers like Ahmedabad and Surat. However, he underscores the significance of acknowledging that access to healthcare facilities is pivotal in the increased number of cardiac emergencies.
Addressing the apparent contradiction of high cardiac issue prevalence in tribal districts, Dr. Sharma elucidates two key factors. Firstly, he points out the evident urbanization of rural areas, where the infrastructure may need to match the pace of development. Additionally, he highlights that these regions share similar food habits characterized by a high-fat diet and a lack of physical activities.
Factors that contribute to the rising number of Cardiac Emergencies
1. Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices:
A predominant factor contributing to the escalating number of cardiac emergencies is the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Modern lifestyles characterized by sedentary behavior, poor dietary habits, and a lack of physical activity significantly contribute to the rising incidence of cardiovascular issues. The convenience of processed foods, high intake of saturated fats, and inadequate exercise collectively contribute to an increased risk of heart-related problems.
2. Consumption of Tobacco and Cigarettes:
The consumption of tobacco and cigarettes stands out as a significant risk factor for cardiac emergencies. Nicotine and other harmful substances present in tobacco can lead to constriction of blood vessels, an increase in heart rate, and elevated blood pressure. Prolonged use of tobacco products significantly raises the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases, making it a critical contributor to the growing number of cardiac emergencies.
In the contemporary world, stress has become an omnipresent factor that plays a pivotal role in the surge of cardiac emergencies. Chronic stress triggers physiological responses that can adversely affect the cardiovascular system. Elevated stress levels contribute to increased blood pressure, inflammation, and the release of stress hormones, all of which can lead to developing or exacerbating cardiovascular conditions. Stress management strategies and mental health awareness are crucial to mitigating this risk.
The global pandemic caused by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus has emerged as an unexpected contributor to the rise in cardiac emergencies. Studies suggest that COVID-19 can have direct effects on the cardiovascular system, leading to complications such as myocarditis, blood clot formation, and increased risk of heart attacks. To explain the same in detail, we have also covered the rise in JN.1 Sub Variant COVID Cases in India and its impact on your heart health.
Wellnest’s Solution for the Cardiac Crisis in Gujarat and India: Introducing Hub & Spokes Model
Wellnest Tech did a survey and found a notable gap in cardiac infrastructure. Key concerns include the need for more ECG machines for patient monitoring and a shortage of cardiologists in untapped areas.
To bridge the gap, Wellnest proposes the Hub and Spokes Model.
We propose connecting a cath lab facility, where an “MI” diagnosis can happen, which is mapped as “Hub” with “Spoke” that is equipped with a 12 Lead Tele ECG Machine.
The Spokes are graded as per their capabilities and distance from Hub, and its staff is trained to capture ECG.
The model would require a Command Center where ECGs are shared with MD Physicians & Cardiologists so that they can provide an immediate diagnosis.
Upon diagnosis, the spoke is immediately connected with the hub via the command center for coordination and immediate dispatch of an ambulance. This way, the patient can get the best treatment within the golden hour, with their life saved.
As Gujarat confronts this health crisis, integrating comprehensive interventions, community awareness, and innovative solutions like the Hub and Spokes Model is crucial. Together, these efforts pave the way for a resilient healthcare system that addresses the current cardiac crisis and ensures a healthier future for Gujarat and beyond.