M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, M.S.Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, MSR Advanced Learning Centre, University of Illinois at Chicago and Medtronic announced the launch of HeartRescue India. The program is a first-of-its-kind, US$4.4 million collaborative effort funded by Medtronic Philanthropy that supports community-based demonstration projects designed to expand access to life-saving interventions for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest.
The HeartRescue India partners convened on July 15 at M.S. Ramaiah Memorial Hospital in Bangalore, India with representatives from state government, local and national medical experts to launch a bold and unique initiative aimed at dramatically improving survival from the leading cause of death in India–acute cardiovascular disease.
While M.S. Ramaiah Medical College will lead the effort, other HeartRescue India partners will contribute varied levels of support and expertise: Research Triangle Institute International will help coordinate global and country level activities. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington will drive monitoring and evaluation. And the University of Illinois Center for Global Health and the University of Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center will provide emergency care technical expertise.
India has the largest cardiovascular disease burden of any country in the world. Cardiovascular deaths are approaching 4.5 million each year in India annually, with many people waiting too long to call for help. An estimated 700,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest, representing 10 percent of all deaths in India. Twenty-five percent of those sudden cardiac arrest deaths were people under the age of 50.
HeartRescue India’s overarching goal is to implement a model of care for patients with acute cardiac emergencies in the community that minimizes critical delays to treatment and saves lives.
Building on a successful five-year program in the United States, HeartRescue India partners will coordinate implementation in Bangalore, which will include community outreach efforts to improve knowledge of the signs and symptoms of heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest, teaching families how to call for emergency help and if necessary perform life-saving CPR.
Partners will collaborate with regional emergency medical services to identify and reach heart attack patients more quickly and provide ambulance transport to receiving hospitals for life-saving care. “Our plan is to work with local and national partners to design an integrated and scalable emergency response system using community health responders, 108 emergency dispatch, and designated hub and spoke hospitals,” says Dr. Aruna C Ramesh, head of emergency medicine and trauma at M.S. Ramaiah Hospital, and the principal investigator on the HeartRescue India program. “We believe we can substantially boost the number of patients who receive timely, effective care, and ultimately save many more lives in the process,” adds Ramesh.
“Improving access to healthcare is at the core of what we do,” says Milind Shah, a board member of Medtronic Philanthropy, and vice president of Medtronic South Asia and managing director of Medtronic India. “Our global and local partnerships lead to a strengthened continuum of care for the patients we serve, which in turn leads to better outcomes, and healthier communities.” Shah adds.