With India poised to earn the dubious distinction of becoming a country with the highest number of deaths due to heart attacks, better emergency facilities for heart patients could save lives, feel cardiologists here.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) reports, India is likely to become the heart attack capital of the world by 2010.
"Cardiac diseases have been spreading like an epidemic and have been affecting the young population too, prompting us to think of immediate hospitalisation facilities and special units," said Arijit Bose, a cardiologist at the Apollo Gleneagles Heart Centre.
Speaking at the inauguration of a chest pain clinic Saturday at the centre, Bose said, "A major cause of death due to heart attack is the loss of time between the occurrence of the cardiac event and medical intervention."
"The first few hours after the heart attack is the golden hour and treatment given at that time makes huge difference in terms of mortality and quality of life," he added.
"This chest pain clinic is an effort to make that positive difference between life and death," said Anil Maini, president, corporate development, Apollo Hospitals group.
The heart centre will remain open round the clock and provide emergency ambulance service, treatment and follow-up plan for each patient.
"Recent trends show that even 16 year olds are prone to heart attack. Blame it on the fast paced lifestyle or increased stress, it cannot be denied that it is an increasing menace of the present times," said Bose.
"It is a must that every chest pain or in fact intense pain in any part of the upper body, be it the arms, tooth, jaw, neck or stomach, be treated equally seriously because if not heart attack it might be a symptom of another fatal disease," said Satyajit Bose, a consultant cardio-thoracic surgeon.