Chandigarh, February 29:

To make maximum use of Golden Hour to save precious lives from heart failure, Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann led the Punjab Government in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday launched the Punjab STEMI project, which empowers the Government Secondary Health Facilities to quickly intervene and give thrombolysis treatment by administering a clot buster drug Tenecteplase to save patient life in case of heart attack. The project has been named Mission AMRIT (Acute Myocardial Revascularization In Time). Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh, while launching the project here, said that the Tenecteplase injection, which costs between Rs 25000 to Rs 35000, is being administered free of cost under this project. This injection helps to dissolve blood clots in the heart, he added. CM Bhagwant Singh Mann led government has no dearth of funds to ensure world-class healthcare facilities in the state,” he said. The project was launched across the state after the success of a pilot project, which was initially implemented in two districts— Ludhiana and Patiala and extended to six more districts later. In the pilot stage, as many as 2833 patients were enrolled under the STEMI project, and at least 209 patients were given Thrombolysis by the health staff at Secondary health facilities.

Dr. Balbir Singh said that this STEMI Punjab project- a heart attack management program, taken up on a ‘Hub and Spoke’ model in government hospitals, will reduce the average time for treatment of a heart attack patient to 90 minutes. Spokes are referred to Secondary Healthcare facilities, while, Hubs are Tertiary Hospitals. He said that earlier there were two Hubs—DMC & H Ludhiana and GMCH-32 Chandigarh— and now four more Tertiary Hospitals have been included including Government Medical Colleges of Patiala, Faridkot, Amritsar, and AIIMS Bathinda, while there are 64 spokes, which include all District Hospitals and Sub-division hospitals, for spreading the operation under this project.

The Health Minister said that patients showing symptoms of heart attack would be first shifted to the spokes centre in 108 Ambulance and from there based on their condition the patients will be shifted to Hub Hospitals. In Spoke centres preliminary diagnostic equipment including ECG machines, trained doctors and nurses; and paramedical staff would be placed. The Doctors at Spoke centers would consult hub centers for medical advice and further action would be taken accordingly, he added. Dr Bishav Mohan, Professor & Head of Cardiology at DMCH Ludhiana said that people need to be sensitized about the symptoms of heart attack, which usually people confuse with gastrointestinal problems and ignore. “The ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in India. This collaborative approach ensures that patients receive the most advanced treatment within the golden hour, improving their chances of survival,” he added.

On the occasion, Scientist-G ICMR New Delhi Dr. Meenakshi Sharma, Professor Cardiology at AIIMS New Delhi Dr. Ramakrishnan, MD NHM and Secretary Health and Family Welfare Dr. Abhinav Trikha, MD PHSC Varinder Kumar Sharma, Director Health Dr. Adarshpal Kaur, Director Family Welfare Dr. Hitinder Kaur, Professor & Head of Cardiology at GMCH-32 Chandigarh Dr. Sreenivas Reddy and SPO NP-NCD Dr. Sandeep Singh Gill were present.

What is a STEMI?

An ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a type of heart attack that is more serious and has a greater risk of serious complications and death. An infarction is a blockage of blood flow to the myocardium, the heart muscle. That blockage causes the heart muscle to die. Therefore restoring blood flow quickly may keep the damage from being permanent or at least minimize the severity of the damage.