PESHAWAR: After months of closure, the administration of Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) on Tuesday resumed life-saving cardiac procedures including angiography and angioplasty in the hospital.
According to Mohammad Asim, LRH Media Manager, the hospital resumed these services for “emergency and critical” patients at the moment. Dr Malik Faisal Iftikhar Awan, head of Cardiology Department of the LRH, when reached, told The News that they had already resumed procedures and done some cases of “critical patients”. “We are happy to resume phase-wise cardiac procedures and save human lives, but we are doing emergency and critical cases at the moment. The hospital administration has made excellent arrangements for the protection of our faculty members and other staff to work in the Cath lab,” said Dr Faisal. He said before resuming services in the Cath lab, he had personally consulted cardiologists in the United States and Europe and they would follow international guidelines.
He said that five patients who were brought to the LRH Emergency Department due to heart attack last week were given timely PCI and TPM facilities. Dr Malik Faisal said that a 40-year old patient was rushed to LRH Emergency department due to cardiac arrest where he was passed TPM wire within 10 minutes which saved his life.
Dr Faisal added that TPM and Emergency PCI saves lives of the patients and it is indeed a great addition to cardiology services of LRH.
Sources in LRH told The News that besides the Medical Director and Hospital Director, Prof Dr Aamir Bilal, head of Cardio-Thorasic Department took personal interest in resuming the cardiac procedures in the LRH. Dr Faisal said the hospital administration had arranged 18 more beds and increased their bed capacity. “We have 40 beds in the Cardiology Department and we have 70 beds at the moment, if we add our beds in the emergency department,” he said.
The LRH administration had closed the Cath lab and suspended all procedures on March 14, 2020, due to the corona pandemic in the country. At that time LRH was declared as the main health facility for Covid-19 patients in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the main building that housed the Cardiology Department, Cardiac Surgery Department and Cardio-Thoracic Department as Covid-19 Complex to accommodate a maximum number of patients there. The government as well as the hospital administration didn’t want the faculty members and support staff to get infected from the coronavirus and that’s why they closed the Cath lab.
The hospital administration had planned to start procedures earlier and open the Cath lab but the cardiologists and other staff members in the LRH were afraid that they might contract the infection from the Covid-19 patients and their attendants accommodated in the same block. According to Dr Faisal, the hospital administration has arranged a separate route for them to Cath lab. He said they were satisfied with the services provided by the hospital administration. Besides LRH, the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) administration had also shut their Cath lab and suspended procedures. The heart patients had developed serious complications due to lack of adequate facilities in the hospitals and particularly the lack procedures like angiography and angioplasty. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are three public sector hospitals- LRH, HMC and Ayub Medical Complex in Abbottabad, where angiography and angioplasty procedures are undertaken.
In the Ayub Medical Complex Abbottabad, no entitled patients are entertained. In HMC, partiality entitled patients are welcomed. The entire burden falls on the Cardiology Department of the LRH, where all entitled and poor-free patients are extended services.
The Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) has been making attempts for the past several years to set up a Cath lab and start producers but they couldn’t succeed, apparently for lack of leadership in the hospital and their inability to hire an expert interventionist. In Swat, the home district of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, the government had allocated Rs140 million for the Cath lab in 2011 but due to many factors, the Saidu Teaching Hospital could not succeed to set up a Cath lab and initiate these important services.