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'Mission Delhi': Motorcycle ambulances can attend heart attack patients in 10 minutes

New Delhi: In a major initiative, the Cardiology and Emergency Medicine departments of AIIMS and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched a Pilot Project "Mission DELHI (Delhi Emergency Life Heart-Attack Initiative)'' within a range of 3 km around All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where people may soon be able to call (toll free nos 14430 and 1800111044) for a motorbike-borne emergency medical assistance unit in the eventuality of heart attack or chest pain.

Under this project, a pair of motorcycle-borne trained paramedic nurses would be the first responders for treating heart attack patients. "On getting the call, the pair would rush to the spot, gather basic information on his or her medical history conduct a quick medical examination, take the ECG of the patient, and establish a virtual connect to the cardiologists at AIIMS and deliver expert medical advice and treatment," said Dr Swati Sharma ( Scientist C).

"The heart is like a room that pumps blood to the entire body. Before the blood is pumped to the body, it is pumped to the walls of the heart through three pipes (coronary arteries). If any of these pipes are clogged by clot, the tissues in that part of the heart die," ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava, explained.

He also added that it is important to remove the clot that is stopping the blood flow. "If the heart walls are damaged, they cannot be repaired. Clot busters are almost equal to angioplasty. Clot-buster medication is low-cost treatment whereas angioplasty is expensive. Clot busters can be given within a short time after a heart attack. In this project, the clot buster will be given very soon even at home," Dr Bhargava said.

Dr Sharma said that three trained physician with 12 male nurses have been trained to perform round the clock assitance to the patient. "Moreover, six set of questionaire have also been developed to identify the actual condition of the patient. Around 1804 dry run have also been performed in 28 Resident Welfare Associations nearby to create awarness while conducting 1040 ECGs of the patients in a span of seven months," said Dr Sharma.

The project has institutional support from Cardiology and Emergency Medicine departments of AIIMS and around Rs 5 crore has been funded by ICMR to run this pilot project, she added.

"While the emergency treatment is being provided, a CATS ambulance will arrive and take the patient for further treatment. Even as the patient is on way to the hospital, qualified doctors posted round the clock at the control centre at AIIMS will evaluate the data received from the nurses to establish further course of treatment as soon as the patient reaches the Hospital," she added.

"The idea is to reach with medical help much faster, given the high-density traffic situation in the city where movement of four-wheeler ambulances becomes difficult. Motorcycle ambulances can reach people in narrow lanes in congested areas," said Randeep Guleria Director, AIIMS. He added that the attempt is to reach to patients within 10 minutes after receiving the call.

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