New York, May 17 (IANS) Cardiovascular clinicians experienced a 38 per cent burnout as the coronavirus pandemic increased, according to a survey.Among all cardiovascular clinicians -- cardiologists, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and imaging technologists -- half provided direct care to patients with Covid-19, and yet one out of five reported not having adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of burnout was higher in this group.The reasons for high burnout rate across all members of the cardiology team may be because they were more likely at the bedside as patients were dying, the researchers said."We know from previous studies that burnout is pervasive in cardiology and medicine in general, but we felt it was important to take the temperature of our colleagues amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The prevalence of burnout among cardiovascular professionals nearly doubled when comparing pre- to peak Covid-19 levels," said lead author Laxmi Mehta, from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center."It clearly shows that there are lots of opportunities to improve the work environment; Covid-19 has really put a magnifying glass on the fact that things were bad and now have significantly worsened," she added.The survey revealed that some cardiovascular clinicians are thinking about leaving their jobs, in some cases, because of Covid-19. Plans to reduce clinical work hours in the next year, leave their current practice or retire early were reported by 23 per cent, 13 per cent and 13 per cent of respondents, respectively, and notably higher among those who reported feeling burnt out.The survey also revealed financial stressors exacerbated by Covid-19, with 41 per cent of respondents reporting that their salary had been reduced to some degree.The survey on burnout was sent via email in November 2020 to 10,019 cardiologists, fellows-in-training and cardiovascular team members. A total of 1,288 people responded to the survey (456 US and 436 international cardiologists, 128 trainees and 268 cardiovascular team members).The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology's 70th Annual Scientific Session.--IANSrvt/vd
Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), March 28 (IANS) A major fire erupted in the cardiology institute in Kanpur on Sunday morning.Patients in the ICU were immediately evacuated. There were no reports of any casualties. The cause of the fire is also not known.Fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The electricity supply was cut off and patients and their attendants were brought out from the stairs.Kanpur police commissioner Aseem Arun said that the fire had been brought under control. He said that prima facie, it appeared that the fire was caused by short-circuit."The Chief Minister has taken cognizance of the incident and has directed the district officials to arrange for treatment of patients in other hospitals. He has also set up a high-level committee comprising Principal Secretary (health) and DG Fire services to probe the incident. The committee will visit the site of the incident and submit its report. The Chief Minister has further directed all hospitals and medical facilities in the state to strengthen their firefighting equipment," said Additional Chief Secretary (home) Avanish Awasthi.--IANSamita/rs
Heart diseases among Indians occur five to ten years earlier than in other populations across the globe. According to the 2018-19 INTERHEART study, the median age for the first presentation of acute Myocardial Infarct (commonly known as a heart attack), in the South Asian (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) population is 53 years, whereas that in Western Europe, China, and Hong Kong it is 63 years. In India, the most worrying part is that heart ailments among younger people are on a constant rise.
We can easily blame this on the sedentary lifestyle and increased stress levels amongst the youth in India. The young age group of 25 to 39 years is mainly the victim of this kind of lifestyle. With the advent of technology, OTT platforms, mobile games, traditional modes of relaxation like going out with friends for a walk or sports are less common now. Lack of open space for playing, cycling, or recreation in most urban centers is only adding to the problems. Most of our school curriculums also have very little emphasis on sports or physical activity.
A heart attack suffered by a Bollywood choreographer Remo D' Souza at the age of 46 years throws light on the need for addressing cardiac concerns amongst the young population.
Dr. Brajesh Kunwar, Director-Interventional Cardiology, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, points out: "The minimum requirement of exercise as per guidelines is 35-45 minutes a day for four to five days a week, to fulfill the requirement of the heart and vital organs. Importantly, there is no work-life balance; the competitive culture of corporate entities has increased man-hours at work leading to chronic stress amongst the youth.
"Multiple other factors like smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Diabetes, Obesity, and hereditary factors play a major role. Smoking is a major dominant modifiable risk factor associated with young Coronary Artery Disease, patients. India is witnessing an increase in the incidence of smoking, especially among adolescents."
Also, it is important to note that our diagnostic capabilities have improved over the years. That's another reason why we see much higher numbers. But that of course is a good part. Having said that, we must understand that there is a critical need to prevent and tackle Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) among youth by way of a lifestyle change, he adds.
Now you might be wondering how people who seem fit or are fitness enthusiasts get heart diseases? Kunwar explains:
The role of genetic cholesterol: Well, while we feel that fitness and exercise are extremely necessary for a healthy life, it is not the only thing that can protect you from heart ailments. The food we eat, the lifestyle we lead, our stress levels, and genes also play an equivalent role. We all know that Indians are predisposed to Diabetes and CVDs, similarly many people also suffer from Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) which is a genetic condition.
People who have this condition are born with it; this defect prevents the body from ridding itself of the type of Cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease. So, people having this condition need to be more careful. There is medication available for treating this condition and patients can easily manage it with the help of a clinical expert.
Stress: A Silent killer: The grinding pace of modern lifestyle distracts our minds and affects our health for the worse. Stress has been said to be a major reason why the younger generation is prone to heart diseases. When you are exposed to long periods of stress, your body gives warning signals that something is wrong.
These physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral warning signs should not be ignored. They tell you that you need to slow down. If you continue to be stressed and you don't give your body a break, you are likely to develop health problems like heart disease. You could also worsen an existing illness.
Symptoms of Heart Attacks
Some of the warning sign of heart attacks include:
- Extreme chest pain and pressure
- Stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sweating, and dizziness
Prevent Heart Ailments
Going forward, it is important to follow these healthy practices to prevent heart ailments at an early age:
- Control your blood pressure
- Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get regular exercise
- Limit alcohol intake and don't smoke
- Manage stress
- Make sure you sleep well
- Indulge in a moderate-intensity exercise like a brisk walk, swimming, etc. (Agency)
We are going through a difficult, unique and a challenging time because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has changed our lives remarkably, has affected practically every person, every individual, every professional, every industry. Affected governments across the globe and their functioning in ways more than we could have ever imagined.
Until an effective vaccine is created, Covid is here to stay and the sooner we accept it and change or adapt the way we live, we will be able to cope up with the same in a much efficient manner. The whole world moved to Digital mode of communication across all sectors to keep up with the new normal. And similarly, we all witnessed a major shift in the healthcare industry replacing face to face patient visits with Tele-consultation, which have proven to be a boon for doctors and patients, ensuring safety for all.
This pandemic led to a sudden nation-wide lockdown, the hospitals were turned into Covid centres, leaving other patients in need of care and treatment high and dry. Statistics show that Indians are already into self- medication which can be very dangerous in case of critical conditions. During the early days of Covid, patients had little or no access to the hospitals and they continued to take treatment according to their will and whatever was prescribed to them in their earlier visits to the doctors. To ensure continuity of quality treatment and care for patients with heart disease, it became important to differentiate between deferrable and non-deferrable activity.
In such a scenario, despite being in its early days in terms of acceptance and patient adoption, tele-cardiology has played a pivotal role. While has made sure that patients with cardiovascular diseases get the much needed diagnosis, second opinion and relevant treatment, it moreover helped in limiting clinical visits, unless there was an emergency case which could not otherwise be controlled.
The use of telemedicine within cardiac care primarily seeks to achieve remote, real-time diagnosis and treatment of heart disease - including cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmia.
During this pandemic situation, tele-medicine emerged as a key solution providing all sorts of necessary healthcare related support required by all stakeholders, including - doctor consultation, urgent medicine delivery, home testing and home care. Not only were the existing players seen expanding and stretching their limits but there were many new players and start-ups who entered the market to serve the country in times of such distress. Telemedicine helps in bridging the gap between patients and doctors from overseas by making it possible for medical practitioners or hospitals to consult with different specialists, regardless of their location. However, when it comes to complex medical conditions requiring expert opinion, it's not easy to find and connect with seasoned specialists.
Hypothetically, let's say a patient can identify a trusted doctor abroad; getting an appointment for an office visit with associated travel arrangements could easily take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. With SeekMed, however, a patient can get through a video consultation with a doctor of repute in less than a week. Patients also have a choice to consult with multiple doctors on the platform before deciding on the doctor they best respond to.
Telemedicine holds the potential to easily meet the needs of today's cardiologists and has the capacity to completely revolutionize the delivery of cardiac care.
(DR TS KLER : The author, Dr TS Kler, is a Padma Bhushan recipient, Chairman - Cardiology, PSRI Hospital and a patron of SeekMed)