Director and Head of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) at Max Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi, Dr Vaibhav Mishra says Fiji has a very high incidence of cardiovascular disease and this places a huge burden on the economy and the health sector.
Speaking at the Medivisor Musical evening at the Kshatriya Hall in Suva on Saturday, Dr Mishra said out of the 500 Fijians who recently went to India for cardiac treatment, 72 had bypass surgeries.
He said just like Fiji, the other nations in the Pacific also have high rates of cardiovascular disease and their endeavor is to provide the best treatment to patients.
He has called on the Fijians to better understand the symptoms that lead to cardiovascular disease.
“There are only five important symptoms that denote an underlying serious cardiac problem such as chest pain which could be a heart attack. People say left-sided chest pain radiates to the left arm and all this is for a classical internal. Now we have something called non-classical angina or there are many variants or angina equitation.”
“Any form of discomfort in the chest, it could be heaviness, it could be difficulty in swallowing, it could be burning sensation in the throat and but most of the people attribute this to gastritis, acidity, dyspepsia heartburn and taking antacids, feeling the treatment but any abnormal sensation in the center of the chest and persisting for more than 5-10 minutes, the first thing that should come to your mind is a cardiac problem or a heart attack.”
He said people should not ignore the symptoms and attribute them to acidity and should rush to their nearest hospital whenever they feel any discomfort or pain in the chest area.
“When I say chest, it encompasses everything in a composite jaw pain, neck pain, pain while walking, pain after eating meals, anything abnormal, anything extraordinary.”
“Breathlessness or what we call in medical literature as dyspnea on exertion is any kind of breathlessness. The third symptom is palpitation racing heartbeat when you run your heartbeat races, and then it subsides as soon as you take this. But sometimes this racing heartbeat happens at rest that’s very normal.”
“Syncope or sometimes these attacks of fainting are a pointer towards a cardiac disease number of valvular heart disease is present as these fainting episodes. So if ever you have had a transient loss of consciousness and it has recovered, it could be a cardiac issue rather than neuro.”
“Last is fatigue which is like tiredness, excessive tiredness, going through the day, could be a sign of low cardiac output failure which can bring about many certain diseases,” he added.