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20% increase in people with heart complications amid Covid: Report

The patient had been suffering from heart-related ailments for the past six months and was delaying his treatment owing to the fear of Covid.

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New Delhi, Sep 15 : There has been a 20 per cent rise in patients suffering from advanced cardiac complications as they are not visiting hospitals due to the fear of contracting Covid-19, a report by a city hospital revealed on Tuesday.

The report from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi showed that patients with cardiac ailments have been postponing their hospital visits for their routine medical examination ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

According to the data, several factors have contributed to an upsurge in patients suffering from heart attacks during the lockdown.

Primarily, lack of activity increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol and decreased doctor consultations alongwith self-medication amongst other reasons.

“Unlike previous years, this year we have seen a remarkable decline in people with cardiac ailments voluntarily planning their elective cardiac procedures and also following schedules of their routine checkups,” Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Cardio-Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said in a statement.

The hospital said that Covid-19 though a highly contagious infection has a mortality rate of only 2 per cent worldwide, that too in cases confirmed with RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen test.

“If we take into account the results of serosurvey, mortality might be only 0.15 per cent. While the death rate in an untreated heart-related ailment is more than 30 per cent,” the hospital said.

According to Apollo, recently a 72-year-old woman from Faridabad suffered a massive heart attack leading to rupture of the heart wall after ignoring acute heartburn for over 12 hours.

Owing to the fear of visiting a hospital and contracting Covid- 19, she decided to continue with that state of health in spite of suffering from discomfort in her chest.

Her condition deteriorated within hours and after suffering throughout the night she was referred to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals by a local doctor.

In another similar case, senior cardiologists from the hospital successfully performed a complicated surgery on a 59-year-old man with a Left Ventricular Aneurysm (a major heart attack.)

The patient had been suffering from heart-related ailments for the past six months and was delaying his treatment owing to the fear of Covid.

“It is, therefore, important to emphasize that heart patients must not ignore any deterioration in symptoms or delay medical attention to avoid any further health complications,” the doctors wrote.

Disaster

Official COVID-19 death toll probably underestimates true total – WHO

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World Health Organisation

GENEVA: The official global toll of deaths from COVID-19 probably underestimates the true total – suggesting it could be over a million already, a World Health Organization official said on Monday.

“If anything, the numbers currently reported probably represent an underestimate of those individuals who have either contracted COVID-19 or died as a cause of it,” Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, told a briefing in Geneva.

“When you count anything, you can’t count it perfectly but I can assure you that the current numbers are likely an underestimate of the true toll of COVID,” he said.

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Treating the heart with scientific breakthroughs, lifestyle changes

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New Delhi, Sep 27 : From the time the first Coronavirus case was recorded in China, to India’s numbers crossing four million, COVID-19 has millions of lives under its ambit. Now, for a country like India, where the cardiovascular disease burden is already at an alarming high, these are threatening facts. Moreover, pandemic-induced lockdowns have also raised stress levels which can induce heart related ailments.

On this World Heart Day, here are some thoughts by Dr Viveka Kumar on the importance of understanding cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), what they mean today, how we can protect ourselves, and the technologies that help us significantly improve patient outcomes.

A Closer Look at Heart Diseases

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “CVDs are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. In 2016, CVDs took approximately 17.9 million lives, out of which 85 percent were due to stroke and heart attack.” Now, let’s understand what CVDs constitute. CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels. According to statistics, four out of five deaths caused by CVDs happen due to strokes or heart attacks.

The most common cause of heart attacks and strokes is a sedentary lifestyle. Alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are contributing factors. Heart attacks and strokes are also caused due to a blockage that interferes with the blood flowing to the brain or heart. These blockages are caused by the build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of blood vessels that carry blood to the two organs. In some cases, internal bleeding in the brain or blood clots can also cause strokes.

Fighting Against the CVD Burden

The simplest way to tackle the CVD burden is to create awareness about its most common symptoms and not ignoring them. For instance, keep a check on your diabetes levels, cholesterol intake, watch out for symptoms like frequent chest pain, irregular heartbeat, pain in the elbows, left shoulder, or discomfort in the arms or back. The most common symptoms of a stroke are numbness in arms or legs, especially on one side of the body, dizziness, difficulty in speaking, loss of balance, or severe headache with an unknown cause.

Since these are common symptoms that are often ignored by patients, it is advisable to consult a doctor if they are regular. Taking measures like maintaining proper weight, keeping regular check on diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure at home is imperative, but we must not forget the importance of regular health check-ups. If you have symptoms of diabetes, your doctor will likely test your blood sugar level. If you have any conditions that put you at risk of heart disease, manage them with lifestyle changes and medications.

However, in extreme cases, where a patient feels their medications are not just enough to treat the ailment so in these cases patients may require a stent to unclog a blocked artery.

The Breakthroughs in Heartcare

What’s interesting is the way technology has transformed the treatment of blocked arteries. For the longest time, we have relied on drug-eluting stents (DES) and bare-metal stents to treat blocked arteries. Over the years, the quality of these stents has improved substantially. The latest generation platinum chromium stents have smaller profiles, thinner struts and clinical data of more than 10000 patients which help in good procedural outcomes for the patients.

An important thing to understand here is that the pandemic is far from waning and health situations like these will continue to exist for as long as humans live on the planet. For better healthcare situations and heart healthy lives we need is to prepare for smarter tools and technologies.

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Prince Charles highlights Covid-19 impact on youngsters

Prince Charles, who had tested positive for the virus earlier this year, has set up the Young People Relief Fund to provide extra support to young people affected by the impact of the virus.

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Prince Charles

London, Sep 27 : The UK’s Prince Charles on Sunday highlighted the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on young people, saying it was a “particularly difficult time to be young”.

“For anyone, this is a difficult time – but it is a particularly difficult time to be young,” the BBC quoted the Prince of Wales as saying in an article published in the Sunday Telegraph.

He compared the current situation to “other times when hope was scarce”, citing concerns over youth unemployment in the 1970s that prompted him to set up his charity, the Prince’s Trust which helps people aged between 11 and 30 seek employment opportunities and life skills.

“This year, we celebrate the fact that over the last nearly 45 years, we have helped a million young people to change their lives for the better,” he wrote in the article.

“Over all these years since the trust was launched, there has never been an easy time.

“However, there has never been a time as uniquely challenging as the present, when the pandemic has left perhaps another million young people needing urgent help to protect their futures.

“The task ahead is unquestionably vast, but it is not insurmountable,” he was quoted as saying.

Prince Charles, who had tested positive for the virus earlier this year, has set up the Young People Relief Fund to provide extra support to young people affected by the impact of the virus.

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