Heart surgeries down by 89.5% at AIIMS during lockdown

There was a drop of 89.5% in the number of cardiac surgeries that were performed between April and July at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, according to data shared by a doctor during one of the National Grand Rounds, where doctors from across the country learn about issues in management of patients with Covid-19 in a virtual interactive session.

The data shows 411 cardiac surgeries were performed between April and July in 2019 as compared to just 43 in 2020. The hospital had shut its outpatient clinics in March during the lockdown and only the emergency surgeries were being performed.

However, there was a drop in the number of emergency cardiac surgeries as well. According to data, 35 such surgeries were performed in 2020 as compared to 58 done in the same period last year. This amounts to a drop of 39.6%.

“Diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases are comorbidities that lead to poorer outcomes as far as Covid-19 is concerned,” said Dr Randeep Guleria, director, AIIMS.

Dr Mukesh Goel, senior consultant of cardio-thoracic and vascular surgery at Indraprastha Apollo hospital said, “During and after the lockdown, all hospitals saw a decline in the number of patients coming in for emergency procedures mainly because of two reasons – one, the fear of getting Covid-19 kept them away from hospitals and two, those from outside Delhi weren’t able to travel. Because of delays in seeking treatment, I have had patients with heart attacks coming in so late that they needed complicated surgeries to repair the damage.”

Cardio-vascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes are the biggest killers in India with 28.1% of all deaths being attributed to it in 2016, according to a state-level burden of disease study.

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