Heart attack, known as myocardial infarction, is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. A heart attack or a cardiac arrest is caused by decreased blood supply to the person’s heart muscle. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, the blood flow to the brain and other vital organs stops completely, leading to death if not treated immediately.
Sudden deaths resulting from heart attacks occur when the heart goes into dangerous rhythms such as ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT). Half of the patients who die of heart attack do so before reaching the hospital. VF is most likely to develop during the first 4 hours (called as golden period) after the onset of heart attack pain. So, early recognition and treatment plays a crucial role in patient’s survival.
A few days ago, a 57 year old Indian male patient experienced a miraculous escape from SCA at Thumbay Hospital – Ajman, thanks to the prompt and expert care he received. The patient’s troubles had started at around 7am in the morning, when he started experiencing chest discomfort, which soon escalated to chest tightness in a few hours’ time. By 7pm on the same day, he had severe retrosternal chest burn accompanied by cold sweat, which made him consult a local physician.
The patient was then referred to Thumbay Hospital, Ajman, where he was brought into the Emergency department. During triage in Emergency, the patient developed cardiac arrest. ECG findings revealed that his heart had stopped working due to dangerous VF/VT rhythms making him unconscious. MET call was generated and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) was initiated with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The patient was shocked out of VF. There was Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) after 15 minutes of resuscitation.
This was when the team led by Dr. Debabrata Dash, Interventional Cardiologist intervened. Assisted by the staff and doctors of Thumbay Hospital’s modern Cath Lab, Dr. Dash carried out emergency coronary angiography and opened the obstructed artery by angioplasty, restoring blood flow to the heart.
The patient was off the ventilator the very next day and the high level of care he received at the ICU ensured smooth and speedy recovery within just 2 days. “Angioplasty in a dying patient is technically demanding and challenging as the survival rate is just around 5%. But without this procedure, the patient would succumb to death as no other treatment is effective at this stage. In this case, our prompt action resulted in the successful outcome, although there were complications involved,” says Dr. Dash. According to studies conducted in Europe, he points out,the incidence of sudden deaths following SCA is 8.6%. SCA is fatal in 95% of cases. It kills about 1000 people a day worldwide –which roughly works out to one person every 90 seconds; more than the casualties of lung & breast cancer combined.
Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition. Once the heart goes into arrest, after around 4 minutes the patient will start to have brain damage and after 12 minutes he/she could be dead. So, early CPR and prompt angioplasty are vital for the survival of the patient. “In patients with cardiac arrest, if there is no non-cardiac cause, they must have an urgent coronary angiography followed by coronary angioplasty if there is coronary disease. Non-cardiac causes of cardiac arrest such as trauma, brain hemorrhage, metabolic problems i.e., severe hypoglycemia should be ruled out before performing coronary angiography,” cautions Dr. Dash.
Thumbay Hospital Ajman has a brand-new, most-modern Cath Lab under highly qualified and experienced doctors. The other services available are Valvuloplasties, Pacemakers and ICDs, ASD and PDA closure and other paediatric interventions
About Thumbay Hospital – Ajman
Thumbay Hospital – Ajman is a part of the Thumbay network of academic hospitals owned and operated by Thumbay Group. It is the first JCI accredited hospital in Ajman and recipient of the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award. The hospital has an excellent Cardiology Department led by expert doctors with a lot of experience working with the most modern technologies and well-versed with advanced treatments and procedures. The department offers world-class services ranging from routine check-ups to handling highly critical cases. Some of the features of the Cardiac Department include: well-equipped ICUs, recent type of echocardiogram, high-quality monitors and ventilators inside the ICU etc. The cardiac services are streamlined and properly coordinated right from the ER to the ICU, ensuring perfect care. The Pediatric Echocardiography is handled by highly experienced doctors.
Bio: Dr. Debabrata Dash
Dr. Dash has worked as consultant interventional cardiologist at many prestigious institutes in India. He is an invited international faculty in China, Korea, Japan, USA, Latin America, Singapore, Vietnam. He was awarded by World of Great Faces for best service in cardiology in 2010 and Excellent Interventional Cardiologist of the Year in 2012.