Heart patient part of telemedicine programme

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The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) is disputing claims by heart patient Neeranjan Singh that he is in a critical condition.

In a daily newspaper on December 21, Singh said he was told in 2017 that he had a heart function of 35 per cent after having a heart attack in 2011. He said his appointment to have another echocardiogram at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex was rescheduled from December 21 to January 31, 2022. He appealed to the health minister to fix the problems at the hospital

In a release, medical chief of staff at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex Dr Joanne Paul said Singh is not in a critical situation as “35 per cent, as it relates to the functioning of Neeranjan Singh’s heart, speaks to the ejection fraction of the heart, ie how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction. In Mr Singh’s case, there is an approximate 15 per cent drop from the normal.

“A critical situation is indicated if the ejection fraction rate of a patient decreases to about ten per cent. The patient would then clearly be in a critical state and in need of acute care, hospitalisation and possibly open-heart surgery.”

NCRHA CEO Davlin Thomas said the authority was surprised at the content of the newspaper article. He said Singh was a beneficiary of the telemedicine programme, the newest technology to be implemented by the NCRHA.

“Mr Neeranjan Singh was called by a senior physician from the Cardiology Department and was prescribed medicine which he agreed to pick up at the EWMSC, Mt Hope on Monday. We shall remind Mr Neeranjan Singh to pick up his medication on Monday.”

Thomas said the telemedicine programme was one of the innovations the authority adopted when faced by the covid19 situation to ensure that critical care was delivered to chronic disease patients, especially those with comorbidities that put them at a higher risk of contracting covid19.

He commented, “We are now at a stage where our telemedicine and telepharmacy services provide us with the opportunity to improve our compliance with pharmaceuticals in the future, and as a net effect, the outcomes for our patients will be improved significantly and exponentially.”

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