31 July, 2021

Blocked Artery Declogged

4G after 18 months brings cheer, but no assurance that it won’t be snapped again

Photograph by Umer Asif
Blocked Artery Declogged

Messaging apps of ­cardiologists in Kashmir are abuzz with texts from doctors seeking advice on treatment of heart ailments. The Doctors Association of Kashmir claims this winter saw a 53 per cent rise in heart attacks. “Restoration of high-speed internet has made it easier for doctors to seek expert advice by making video calls or uploading ECGs quickly,” says Dr Irfan Ahmad, a cardiologist at Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar. Dr Ahmad is a member of the Save Heart Initiative, a WhatsApp-based network that enables cardiologists to suggest lines of treatment to doctors in both rural and urban areas in Kashmir after looking at ECGs. “With 4G internet back, we can ­demonstrate basic lifesaving procedures to doctors through video calls,” says one of its founders, Dr Imran Hafeez, a senior consultant at the cardiology department of Srinagar’s Sher-e-­Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences.

Around 38,000 ECGs were ­examined and 1,000 cases of major heart attacks detected between November 2017, when the Save Heart initiative...

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