Dr. Padmanabha Kamath’s unique approach to address heart patients
Social media is just another communication tool for us maybe, but one cannot possibly deny the vast sea of opportunities it hides behind the lush green white screen. Once used only for messaging- today WhatsApp serve different purposes. But Dr. Padmanabha Kamath approach to WhatsApp handling is quite different from us all. This cardiologist created a WhatsApp group to address heart patients and help them with their queries. This doesn’t started randomly but is a result of an incident he faced prior in his life. This interventional cardiologist from Mangaluru still remembers an incident which shook his thoughts and forced him to start a new WhatsApp group, ‘Cardiology at Doorsteps’ (CAD). What made him do so, let’s check it out!
Dr. Padmanabha Kamath still remembers an incident happened five years back when a young auto rickshaw driver died out of heart attack. The only reason he died was the late diagnosis of his heart disease. He had a heart attack and passed away because doctors couldn’t make a diagnosis on time.
“He was a 32-year-old, had two small children, and was the sole breadwinner of his family. The only reason for his death was a delay in diagnosis,” says Dr Kamath in a report by The Better India.
This incident shocked Dr. Kamath to an extend that he decided to do something about it. He opened a WhatsApp group called ‘Cardiology at Doorsteps’. The group comprises of 800 doctors to give quick diagnosis so that no other person die a same cause. The group is extremely beneficial especially in remote areas where the access to qualified doctors is not possible. The doctors provides free diagnosis and also helps patient with recovery treatments. The cardiologists also help the doctors working in smaller hospitals and PHCs to connect with a referral hospital and the nearest cardiologist. The members of the group also post ECG’s reports and the available doctors provide the correct reading to them. They have four WhatsApp groups which contain almost 8000 people in total and have at least 3 cardiologist in each group. As it is not possible for everyone to give immediate replies, the doctors have also shared their numbers so that emergency calls can be made when needed. Until now almost 500 heart attack and 850 heart diseases have been accurately diagnosed in the group and at least 5 have been saved by a heart attack. The group has also helped raise funds to set up ECG machines in the remote villages and by now they have successfully set up 200 ECG machines in different hospitals. The funding is done either by the group members, patients, and their relatives or by local public. The banking sector has also helped them up with the same. CAD also provides treatment kits that contains medicines that should be given in an emergency situation till the time the patient is shifted to the nearest hospitals. They have donated the kits to almost 1000 hospitals across different places in Karnataka. The team has also donated 12 ECG machine in several PHC’s in Kerala as well. The doctor also runs a free WhatsApp helpline number that is-9743287599 in case of heart related emergency cases.
His aim is to take this initiative to the other states of the country as well. He wanted to create a space that helps people diagnose their problems earlier so that no one dies a death they didn’t deserve to. His group today is doing wonders to reduce the cases of heart related deaths in the region and we hope that his initiative soon reaches other states as well.