Dr. Kewal Krishan, Program Head – Heart transplant and Ventricular assist devices and senior consultant cardiac surgeon at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, performed India’s first successful implant of HeartMate 3™, which offers physicians the world’s most advanced ventricular assist technology available to support the management of patients with advanced stage heart failure.
According to the office of The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India’s report titled ‘Causes of Death in India 2010-2013’, cardiovascular disease is responsible for 23% of all deaths in India, out of which heart failure accounts for an estimated 2.3 million deaths annually.
In an interaction with ICTpost, he shares his perspective on public health system in India and much more.
Please brief us about the HeartMate 3™ LVAD.
A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a pump that we use for patients who have reached end-stage heart failure. We surgically implant the LVAD, a battery-operated, mechanical pump, which then helps the left ventricle (main pumping chamber of the heart) pump blood to the rest of the body. Heart Mate 3 is the latest device which is recently being used worldwide. It is build upon the highly advanced fully magnetically levitated pump with smaller size which increases surgical ease to implant and enhances patient’s life expectancy significantly with least pump related issues. If the initial results of this device which has been shown in first 2 year persisted in the coming years this device is going to be a break through technology in the treatment of End stage heart failure.
How do you think ventricular assist technologies have transformed the way treatment procedures are carried now in advanced stage heart failure?
Newer LVADs have changed the whole perspective of heart failure course of disease. Those patients who have diagnosed with end stage heart disease usually had no therapy left to cure the disease and wait for the death. Now they have can look forward to leaving life like a normal person with long life expectancy.
The public health system in India is at the brink of a complete transformation with health becoming a priority for the government. What are your views on this?
The public health system is becoming priority by the government and they are taking lot of initiatives to improve Indian health care scenario. They have increased number of medical entrance seats post-graduation seats and approved 35 more medical colleges. They are also converting big district hospital to education and training centers. Basically increasing supply according to increasing demand of healthcare. They have lot of committees to improve the existing health care facility and also to maintain the standards of health care to provide world class medical care.
For organ donation government has made brain death declaration mandatory to notify. Many campaigns are being done to increase awareness about donation. NOTTO (national organ and tissue organization has been established to regulate and oversee the organ donation happening in India and to control the ethical issue involved in it.
Budget allocation percentage has also increased by the govt. and the ratio of allocated budget and expenditure happened has also improved. This is the big change happened in the last year. At least allocated budget is reaching to the common man and being used to treat needy patients
Your message to the government for improving scenario of cardiovascular diseases in India?
As India is growing very fast but still a lot to do for the poor section of the community to reduce their sufferings. More awareness and campaigns about the heart failure diseases like they are doing for Malaria and TB and other communicable diseases. Increasing educational opportunities and promoting more insurance companies to get involved in healthcare to increase affordability of a common man.
What are your future plans?
A lot of patients are dying of heart failure because of unawareness of advanced therapies available, less affordability and lack of facilities even in developed centers. Our mission is to increase awareness of the therapies available, bringing more cost effective treatment alternatives and enhance the quality of life of those who are suffering from end stage heart failure. Make in India products to reduce the cost and increase the availability of treatment options.