Ventilators pivotal to COVID fightback in the face of surge in post-COVID cardiac complications
Almost 15% of cardio-vascular patients require ventilatory support underlining the continued role of ventilators
Even as India and the world continue to grapple with COVID-19, there has been a recent bout of events involving young sports stars and television heroes who have suddenly and abruptly lost their lives due to heart conditions. Simultaneously, there has been a spate of cases where recovered COVID patients have been found to have heart complications. According to estimates, about 50% of COVID-recovered patients have found themselves with heart conditions. For a country which already accounts for 60% of world’s heart disease burden with nearly 2 to 7.5% of its rural population and 1 to 13% of urban population suffering from coronary artery disease, a major heart condition, this is a disturbing statistic.
At the same time, what has been particularly noteworthy and indeed redeeming is that ventilators, the breathing devices which have already proved to be truly lifesaving for tens of thousands of COVID patients with particular focus on respiratory complications so far, have continued to prove their worthiness for cardio-vascular and other heart conditions too.
“The popular perception that ventilators are only meant for lung conditions is somewhat misinformed. So, we should use this occasion of World Heart Day to educate and inform people that since heart and lungs work in unison to keep our bodies healthy and running, ventilators can also serve as a lifesaving device for those with heart conditions. In fact, hospitals in Kolkata have reported in recent times that as much as 15% of cardio-vascular admissions have required ventilatory support. So, while we augmented our manufacturing and supplies of ventilators mindful of the need of COVID patients with predominant focus on lung systems, we have also customized these lifesaving devices with an eye on serving patients with cardio-vascular comorbidities. Accordingly, we have come up with non-invasive and invasive ventilator systems all of which can work in wide-ranging modes depending on the need of a patient and the diagnosis of the attending expert, said Ashok Patel, founder, Max Ventilator.
“On the occasion of World Heart Day, as we continue the good fight against COVID and COVID-related heart conditions apart from other cardio-vascular diseases, the cross-connections between COVID-19, lungs and heart conditions must be brought out. In fact, as reflected in the broader term cardio-pulmonary systems, our lungs in our respiratory systems directly affected by the corona virus work in tandem with heart and blood vessels. For instance, if the heart is not pumping enough blood, it will adversely impact oxygen supply. And if the lungs don’t function properly, it becomes more difficult to get oxygen-rich blood into the body and expel carbon dioxide from the body. While Covid-19 has been known to cause inflammation of the lungs, it has also been found to have caused inflammation of heart muscles as well as those of outer linings of the heart, known as mycocarditis and pericarditis respectively. At the same time, it has also been known to lead to conditions such as arrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome and venous thromboembolism. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle prompted by lockdown restrictions has only increased the likelihood of these heart conditions. Whether COVID or not, the fact that heart conditions tragically took away the lives of even young and physically active people is particularly worrisome,” said Dr Subhendu Sarkar, B.M Birla Heart research Centre, Kolkata.