Hospital scare causing heart patients to miss out on early intervention
New Delhi: Medical experts in Delhi have said that since the pandemic, heart attacks and cardiac ailments have increased two-fold. Meanwhile, the lockdown witnessed an uptick in patients suffering from advanced cardiac complications by 20 per cent, as patients fear visiting hospitals due to the fear of contracting the virus.
"One major reason for heart-related complications is due to stress cardiomyopathy, we also call it broken heart symptoms, as it affects patients who have received shock. Many patients with newly diagnosed blood pressure were also admitted. Stress and inactivity are major reasons for that," Dr Tapan Ghose, Director of Cardiology at Fortis Hospital observed.
Medical experts have repeatedly said that lack of activity, increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol, decreased doctor consultations and self-medication are a few of the major reasons for the increased cardiac ailments.
Dr Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said, "While there are fewer acute heart attack cases being admitted to hospital emergency units, there is a marked increase in deaths from cardiac arrest at home, probably due to the postponement and delay by patients in seeking medical attention. Unlike previous years, this year we have seen a remarkable decline in people with cardiac ailments voluntarily planning their elective cardiac procedures and also following schedules of their routine checkups."
Millennium Post spoke to a few patients who were suffering from cardiac ailments and hypertension, all of whom refused to visit the hospital out of fear. 62-year-old Ambuj had heart surgery last year. Last month, he was having breathing issues while his blood pressure went awfully high. "He absolutely refused to go to the hospital even in that condition," his son said.
Ambuj said that he has a hospital phobia post the pandemic and didn't want to get affected. However, it was after numerous telephonic sessions with a doctor at a private hospital that he agreed to go, where doctors said any delay would have been catastrophic.
According to medical experts, in cases of acute heart attacks, approximately 3 per cent patients suffer from a rupture in the heart. "Patients are not coming at the early stages like they used to come earlier. So, they are coming with advanced complications of the heart. Because the number of heart attacks remains the same, but people keep ignoring the heart ailments," Dr Goel said, adding that in the past month, he personally attended to five to six such cases.
He further said that hospitals might be the "safest place" as of now and patients should not ignore these signs.