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Saveheart Initiative: A Cardiologist from Kashmir is saving lives virtually

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jun 23, 2022 10:00 AM

Read Time: 2 minute

Dr. Irfan Bhat, a cardiologist at Srinagar's Government Medical College, receives a video call from a doctor in a remote village in Kashmir while on routine duty. The caller discusses a possible cardiac emergency and seeks advice on how to treat the patient based on his ECG report.

Online treatment to heart attack cases via whatsapp video call

Dr. Bhat confirms the patient's heart attack after analysing the ECG online and quickly provides treatment over the video call. The cardiologist is part of India's largest virtual hospital in Kashmir- #Saveheart initiative working though WhatsApp platform. It’s providing treatment for heart attack cases in remote areas, at their doorstep.

“We analyse the ECG; we ensure there is a right treatment at the doorstep and patient is shifted to tertiary care hospital after thrombosis and after receiving first aid. That makes a difference in deciding fate of a patient, “said Dr Irfan Bhat, Cardiologist Government Medical College, Srinagar.

Treated around 100s of cardiac cases

Dr Bhat has handled hundreds of critical cardiac cases online from last seven years, guiding medical practitioners in remote areas how to manage cardiac emergencies before they can reach specialised medical facility in Srinagar.

How it works

As soon as a cardiac emergency reaches first medical contact in any area, the doctor uploads patients ECG on the Save Heart WhatsApp group. Immediately, a cardiologist on the group evaluates the ECG - guides the health official on how to handle the patient in the first golden hour.

When the decision taken to launch the online platform

The decision to launch the online platform was made after a cardiac arrest during the Amarnath yatra in the Kashmir Himalayas in 2015. A doctor at Baltal camp sent a WhatsApp message to a cardiologist in Srinagar, which helped save the Yatri, who had travelled from Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

“It was 130 km away from tertiary care hospital in Srinagar. It was not wise to shift the patient without receiving any treatment at Baltal camp. Dr Shama's, the Doctor who was posted there, communicated with us. We discussed the ECG and what's the right treatment to be given. The drug was available there, patient received the treatment and his life was saved,” said Dr Bhat.

1200 doctors joined the #SaveHeart movement

Since then, 1200 doctors from Kashmir and non-resident Kashmiri doctors from around the world have joined the #SaveHeart movement. The platform has already saved hundreds of lives by analysing over one lakh ECGs.

Besides his regular duty, Dr Bhat occasionally travels to remote villages to see the patients handled via online mode. He says there can't be more satisfaction for him than seeing the smile on their face.

Dr Bhat belongs to a group of doctors in Kashmir who go beyond the call of their duty and have created India's largest virtual hospital. Without spending single rupee, they are handling cardiac emergencies at their doorstep and saving hundreds of lives every year.

Also Read: IndiGo save a life by transporting Heart from Vadodara to Mumbai in 2.5 hours

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