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Nightmare for the patient and the doctor in current scenario for non covid patient– Urgent need for organised planning by the BMC

A 70-year-old resident of Mumbai, had a video consultation for chest and throat tightness. The general physician had prescribed cough syrup for throat tightness. But there was no relief from symptoms. Without taking a chance, the doctor suggested them to get an ECG which was very abnormal and suggestive of heart attack. Heart attack was confirmed with the blood test called troponin.

After consulting Dr Nimit Shah, Interventional Cardiologist in south Mumbai, Mrs Shah was advised emergency admission. Dr Shah called up a nearby hospital, who were admitting NON-COVID patients too.

Unfortunately, the hospital staff was on strike owing to the pandemic and couldn’t admit the patient in the hospital. Then, Dr Shah gave a call to another hospital. The patient was denied admission to the hospital as the symptoms overlapped with coronavirus. Hence, even a basic heart attack treatment could not be initiated. Patient was then directed to the third hospital. The patient was lucky to get an initial treatment but she couldn’t get admitted as she needed negative COVID results. Patient with heart attack being shunted from one hospital to other and finally send home that night on medications.

To her dismay, next morning she developed further chest pain in spite of increasing the dosage of the medications. Later, the patient got admitted to some other hospital in the COVID-suspect ward but her swap test was negative. Since, she had angina (chest pain or discomfort caused when your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood), she was shifted to the ICU for treatment. Cath lab available in the hospital was only for acute heart attacks so they had to shift her to the first hospital as they started admitting NON-COVID patients.

Dr Nimit Shah, Interventional Cardiologist at Heart Failure Clinic, said, “The patient underwent an angiography and had critical blockages in all three blood vessels (that is 70 to 99% block). She was suggested to go for urgent bypass surgery. Since, the hospital did not start doing surgeries; other hospitals had a long waiting list as they were operating 1 patient a day. Eventually, the patient got a date in one suburban hospital, after 4 days. The patient again developed chest pain with further ECG changes, the patient was taken to the Cath lab urgently and a successful coronary angioplasty was done.”

Dr Shah added, her artery called right coronary artery causing heart attack was 99% blocked and very slow flow. Managed to open her artery with one single stent she recovered very well and was discharged after 3 days. The rest of the blockages were managed by medicine and will need any intervention if she develops further symptoms. Finally, the nightmare was over as we could save the life of this patient.”

Patient’s son Nihaal Kapoor said, “Dr Nimit shah has appeared like a guardian angel for my mother. He has saved my mother’s life in this very unusual situation. I am very grateful and thankful to him and the other hospitals for treating my mother and saving her life.”

 

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