A Miraculous Cure, Heart Surgery Cancelled!

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


A Miraculous Cure, Heart Surgery Cancelled!

Sathya Saibaba, the Master of miracles cancels an ardent devotee’s heart surgery.

An old lady from Madras once had a sharp pain in her chest. Her husband rushed to their family doctor, who in turn referred them to a heart surgeon. The lady was put to a through test. To the shock of her husband and her, the doctor revealed that there appeared three blockages in her heart. The doctor also suggested that an immediate heart operation has to be done. The lady however refused to undergo the operation without the consent of the Lord of her heart, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. She also ignored the medicines prescribed for the pain.

The Lord is the only succor for a lost heart. That night, the lady had a wonderous dream where Sathya Saibaba took a piece of paper, drew a heart and crossed it. The lady woke up with tears of ecstasy, “Baba I know not the significance of the dream, but I am aware that my heart problem has been taken care of!”

A miraculous cure just came about naturally!Can there be a dearth of miracles by Sathya Sai Baba in the devotees’ lives?

The next day, the elderly couple visited the doctor again and the lady went through the same tests, a second time. To the utter astonishment of everyone, the results simply did not show any trait of a heart ailment. The blocks were absent and hence the heart surgery was ruled out! The husband related to the doctor, the wonderful dream that his wife had the previous night. He however wanted to make sure about the medicines that she had to take for her heart condition to be stable. When the prescription was produced, the doctor just crossed it exactly the way Satya Sai Baba had done in the dream! Surging gratitude from the heart flowed down as tears on the cheeks of the devotee!

A miraculous cure just came about naturally!

Can there be a dearth of miracles by Sathya Sai Baba in the devotees’ lives?

One India Forum Reference

New DES More Effective To Reduce Restenosis Than First-Generation Stents: Dr Mitchell Krucoff

New DES More Effective To Reduce Restenosis Than First-Generation Stents: Dr Mitchell Krucoff
Monday, October 26, 2009 08:00 IST
Our Bureau, Bangalore

Newer drug eluting stents (DES) are proving to be significantly more effective and safer compared to the ‘first-generation’ drug eluting stents. DES is developed to reduce incidents of re-blockage or restenosis which occur with bare metal stents and almost all trials showed a marked reduction in restenosis rates. The ideal drug eluting stent is one which demonstrates high efficacy while maintaining excellent safety profile.

The latest stents made of polymer and steel are known for higher biocompatibility. These are thinner in appearance and more flexible. The lower doses of the drug are much preferred as a long treatment option for complex and difficult cases. Another big advantage is the negative side effects. The drug eluting stents reduced the need for a second intervention procedure by about 40 to 50 per cent compared to bare metal stents especially in complex cases where patients reported long blockages in diabetics and those having small blood vessels, according to Dr Mitchell Krucoff, interventional cardiology scientist and advisor to US FDA on medical devices.

Dr Krucoff who is in India to research on medicine, healing and spirituality at the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Bangalore, said that over 75,000 patients are treated with drug eluting stents each year in India. The ideal drug eluting stent is one that has proven in large clinical trials to reduce the chances of reblockage, morbidity and mortality.

According to the recently concluded international congress of interventional cardiology, Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), in San Francisco, three separate large randomized clinical studies showed that the new generation drug eluting stent Xience V was significantly more effective and safe than the first generation Taxus stent.

India will account for 60 per cent of the global heart disease burden in the next few years, reports a recent study by a team of Indian and Canadian researchers. Indians have a genetic disposition to heart disease and develop disease earlier in their life compared to western population. Already the country set to become the diabetes capital of the world and it is forecasted that it will also be known for the highest incidence of heart disease, said Dr Krucoff.

Due to the effectiveness of stents, angioplasty is becoming the preferred choice of treatment of patients with narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart. These devices have evolved over the last two decades beginning from specialized balloons mounted on catheters to treat the narrowing to bare metal stents to drug coated stents. In India, use of drug eluting stents have increased dramatically since their introduction in 2003.

Going by the economies of scale, DES is being preferred to by-pass surgery in terms of faster recovery and higher productivity for the patient to get back to work at quicker pace, he added.

Interventional cardiology is a super specialty and the need of the hour is adequate number of trained experts. If there are specialists who have ample experience, they are most-sought after experts to implant DES. The number of cath labs should also increase to help specialist carry out the procedure. India is far higher in terms of expertise and use of stents than China. The country has a growing patient population who need DES which are affordable, said Dr Krucoff.

Pharmabiz Reference

Also see:
Official Sathya Sai Baba Website
Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust
Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Whitefield
Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Prasanthigram

Providing Hope And Healing To Heart Patients

Providing Hope And Healing To Heart Patients
Dr Michael Nobel, chairman of the Appeal of the Peace Prize Laureats Foundation, had said, ‘I have never seen anything like this on earth. It is a wonderful feeling, far removed from the national healthcare in the West, which does not seem to work very well. The impressive thing about the hospital created by Bhagwan Sathya Sai Baba is the combination of the three aspects: state-of-the-art technology, free medical treatment and the healing powers of his presence instilling in the patient the firm belief that he or she will get well.’

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences’ super-specialty hospital in Whitefield, near Bangalore, offers free heart surgeries to people from all walks of life. Till date this hospital has conducted nearly four lakh surgeries, according to hospital staffers, who point out that there is no billing counter here.

The hospital’s mission is to ‘provide high quality medical care absolutely on a no cost basis to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion, and financial status in an overall spiritual environment which recognises the patient as a human being and not as a diseased entity’.

Each and every patient receives the same treatment
The hospital is situated on a sprawling 53-acre complex. A large number of patients, young and old, rich and poor, get their heart problems treated free of cost. Some treatments would cost Rs 4 lakh in other medical facilities.

Y Arvind, manager of public relations at the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, says that the list of patients is endless. ‘We have patients throughout the day and I must tell you that we are proud of our waiting list. We meet every patient and we never promise what we cannot deliver. But we only deliver the best here. The doctors meet and evaluate each and every patient who comes here. The cases are taken up for treatment depending on their urgency,’ he added.

Every patient receives the same treatment here, free-of-cost. ‘The idea is that each patient is at the same level and if you do not pay for your treatment, then everyone is on par,’ explains Arvind proudly.

The hospital runs on donations from various philanthropists and devotees
The hospital is equipped with a fully automated information system which takes care of the patient data. The hospital also maintains a manual record of the data.

The super specialty hospital, with a built up area of 3,54,000 sq feet, houses 333 beds, eight operation theatres, six intensive care units, two cardiac cath labs and a 24-hour emergency unit. This state-of-the-art hospital, with a dedicated team of expert doctors, is also remarkable due to its Indo-Saracenic architecture and magnificent gardens.

How does the hospital dispense free medical treatment to so many patients? All the funds for the hospital come from the medical trust, which in turn receives the money in the form of donations from various philanthropists and devotees of Sathya Sai Baba. Arvind explains that on an average, the hospital authorities spend Rs 50 lakh a month on surgeries, treatment, maintenance cost and staff salary.

Not medical counseling, but patient counseling
‘We are able to manage this thanks to resource optimisation. For example, we don’t waste paper. It is compulsory for anyone using a note to use both sides of it and not throw it away after writing on only one side,’ Arvind explained.

The doctors have been instructed not to conduct medical counseling, but to conduct patient counseling for every patient. The doctors draw up an emotional profile of the patient to figure out the route of his emotional imbalance. This understanding helps the doctors in keeping their patients calm, and studies have proven that a calm mind helps heal a patient better.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s first initiatives in the field of medical care began with the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Prasanthi Nilayam, which was inaugurated on October 4, 1956 as a 12-bed facility for serving the poor in Puttaparthi and the surrounding villages.

Free healthcare to all patients
The initiative was aimed at giving free healthcare to all the patients seeking treatment at the hospital. Soon, the hospital began to attract patients from all across Anantapur, adjoining districts and other states. Over the years, the SSSGH grew from a single room dispensary to a sizeable general hospital with 90-bed capacity, treating patients suffering from various aliments. The Out Patient Department in the hospital now handles nearly 600 patients daily on an average.

In 1976, a second hospital, Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield was inaugurated by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Bangalore. He also founded the Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust in September 1991, to set up super-specialty hospitals to provide quality medical care to needy patients irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

State-of-the- art medical care
The first venture of the Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust, towards providing high-tech tertiary medical care, was in the form of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi in November 1991. The institute provides state-of-the-art tertiary medical care absolutely free of cost to all those who came to its portals. This super specialty hospital treats diseases related to cardiology, urology and ophthalmology.

After the success of the super specialty venture in Andhra Pradesh, the government of Karnataka wanted Baba to start another super specialty hospital in Bangalore and offered 53 acres of land to build a super specialty hospital in its suburbs. The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore was inaugurated on January 19, 2001.

Rediff News Reference

Rehabilitation Scheme For State’s Patients

SSSIHMS

SSSIHMS


Rehabilitation Scheme For State’s Patients
– Aruna Chandaraju

The programme covering cardiac patients of SSSIHMS hailing from Karnataka began as a pilot project in 2005.

Anyone who has been discharged from a hospital after surgery, would know that once he pays his bills and leaves, the relationship with the hospital virtually ends there. Unless he himself were to renew contact by seeking a revisit-appointment. That is the norm anywhere.

Except at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Bangalore, that offers zero-cost treatment to all patients. In a first-of-its kind project, called Sai Rehabilitation Programme, the hospital has been tracking all its cardiac-surgery patients across Karnataka including remote areas, and providing recuperative medical-rehabilitation services.

Moreover, this post-operative care is offered at a local doctor’s clinic i.e. almost at a patient’s doorstep, explains Programme Coordinator, M S Umesh Rao who, along with former SSSIHMS director Dr A N Safaya conceived of and developed the programme.

Thus the hospital’s protective umbrella covers the patient even after he leaves the hospital for his home, often hundreds of miles away.

Why this programme?
The management explained that post-surgery recuperative care––continuing doctor-consultations, regular medication and diagnostic tests, and lifestyle changes––is vital for cardiac patients. However, most patients are poor and illiterate––hence unlikely to understand this and do the needful. And considering that SSSIHMS gives its hi-tech treatment entirely free of cost, the doctors felt their efforts shouldn’t go waste once the patient returns home. Even in case of an aware patient wanting to return for a check-up, the effort and cost of travel involved could be daunting.

Rehab scheme
The Rehab Scheme uses the vast network of registered volunteers including doctors constituting Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation (SSSSO). This vast resource, divided district-wise, formed the starting point, explains Nagesh G Dhakappa, Karnataka State President, SSSSO.

So, how does the scheme work? First, the Sai Organisation enlists the support of volunteer-doctors across all 30 Karnataka districts.

The doctors are screened and attend an orientation workshop at SSSIHMS. These doctors–––who offer their services free of cost––submit their address and contact numbers to the hospital and to their own district’s Sai Organisation President and Coordinator all of whom then create a Rehab Scheme database.

When a patient from Karnataka––after surgery at SSSIHMS––is being discharged, his address is checked against the database to identify a doctor nearest his residence. This doctor’s contacts are given to the patient as part of his discharge summary.

He is asked to contact this doctor for three check-ups in the first six months following discharge, and also when he feels seriously unwell. Simultaneously, this doctor and relevant District President and Coordinator are contacted by SSSIHMS and given details of the patient being put under their charge and care.

With this two-way channel established, the patient visits this local doctor for regular consultations and lifestyle-check, all done free of cost.

This doctor also guides the patient in getting his medicines and follow-up tests from reliable pharmacists and labs.

The local doctor sends up the patient’s reports to SSSIHMS whose doctors are thus able to regularly monitor their patients from a distance. Based on these reports, if need be, SSSIHSM doctors might ask a patient to return to hospital––for further, zero-cost treatment.

In cases where the patient can’t afford the monthly medicines and tests (for eg, valve-replacement patients need expensive after-care), the local doctor and Sai Organisation members arrange free drugs and tests.

If a patient fails to report for check-up, the District President/Coordinator, who has his address, might even land up at his doorstep to take him to the clinic! The hospital, however, has been unable to reach out to a small percentage of patients who have relocated without informing SSSIHMS or local doctor of their new address.

Already, SSSIHMS has taken on the mammoth task of providing zero-cost, hi-tech medical care to thousands of patients. So, is not the Sai Rehab Programme a tremendous extra burden?

“Not at all,” replies Dr A S Hegde, Director, SSSIHMS, “It is an extension of the hospital’s charitable work. In fact, we derive great satisfaction from being able to extend our service to patients even after they leave us and are living far away.”

The programme covering cardiac patients of SSSIHMS hailing from Karnataka began as a pilot project in 2005.

Given its success, it’s now being replicated for rest-of-India patients beginning with Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

A similar programme is being planned for neuro-patients too.

Deccan Herald Reference

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences – Congenital Heart Disease

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences – Congenital Heart Disease

Factors predicting the progress of mitral valve disease in surgically treated adults with ostium primum atrial septal defects.

Vijay Agarwal, MCh, FRCSa, Suneil Kumar Aggarwal, MRCPb,*, Choudary D. Voleti, MD, FACSa

  1. Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prashantigram, India
  2. Department of Cardiology, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prashantigram, India

Received for publication March 6, 2008; revisions received June 23, 2008; accepted for publication August 28, 2008.

Address for reprints: Suneil K. Aggarwal, MRCP, Department of Cardiology, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prashantigram, AP 515134, India.

Objective: This study was undertaken to analyze the clinical profile, associated features, and surgical treatments of adults operated on for ostium primum atrial septal defects, particularly factors influencing progression of mitral valve disease.

Methods: We retrospectively studied all patients aged 18 years and older operated on at our institution with reference to patient clinical features, investigation findings, surgical records, and outpatient follow-up data.

Results: Fifty-one patients, 29 female and 22 male, underwent operation at a mean age of 27.3 years (SD 6.9). Of these, 80% were in New York Heart Association functional class I or II, with a most frequent presenting symptom of dyspnea. On echocardiography, 88% had cleft mitral valve, 35% had moderate mitral regurgitation, and 4% had severe mitral regurgitation. According to echocardiography and available cardiac catheterization data, 27% had moderate pulmonary arterial hypertension and 8% had severe. In-hospital mortality was 1.9%. At mean follow-up of 36 months, 94% of patients were in functional class I. Mitral regurgitation was moderate in 21% and severe in 8%, with 1 patient undergoing mitral valve replacement. Factors associated with increased risk of moderate or severe mitral regurgitation on follow-up were preoperative moderate or severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (P = .008) and female sex (P = .009).

Conclusion: Surgical correction of ostium primum atrial septal defects in adults can be undertaken successfully with low mortality and excellent symptomatic results. Regular follow-up is required to assess progression of mitral regurgitation, which is more likely in women and those with preoperative pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Abbreviations and Acronyms:

  • MR = mitral regurgitation
  • NYHA = New York Heart Association
  • OPASD = ostium primum atrial septal defect
  • PAH = pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • RVSP = right ventricular systolic pressure
  • TR = tricuspid regurgitation

JTCS Reference

Dr B Somaraju – The Leader Who Cares

Dr B Somaraju

Dr B Somaraju

Dr B Somaraju – The Leader Who Cares

Hailing from a small agriculturist family, Dr B Somaraju is not only proud to be associated with the Kalam-Raju stent, but he is equally proud of the fact that he has escalated his dream project’s worth from Rs 30 crore to Rs 300 crore in just a decade.

Born on 25 September, 1948, Dr Raju was born in to an agriculturist family. He did his MBBS and MD from Guntur Medical College, DM Cardiology from PGIMER, Chandigarh and PhD (HonCausa) from JNTU, Hyderabad. He worked as a Registrar in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, PGIMER and Chandigarh and Registrar in Cardiology, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Why an entrepreneur?
“We wanted to build a place where we could have professional satisfaction of an academic institution and freedom and flexibility of a private enterprise,” says Dr Somaraju.

Before being an entrepreneur
In 1978, Dr Raju joined Osmania Medical College as Assistant Professor in Cardiology. In 1983, he joined Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad as Assistant Professor in Cardiology. For one year, he was with Osmania General Hospital. Then from 1984 to 1993, he was with NIMS first as Additional Professor in cardiology division and later as the Dean and Professor.

His brush with private healthcare happened only when he along with his 60- member team cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac anaesthetists, cardio-vascular nurses and technicians came out of NIMS to start the Division of Cardiology at Mediciti Hospitals, Hyderabad in 1993.

The first move
In 1996, Dr Raju along with same colleagues formed the Care Foundation. Informs Dr Krishna Reddy, CEO of Care Hospital and a close aide of Dr Raju, “We presented a project with an integrated healthcare delivery model encompassing delivery, education and research aiming at making high quality care affordable and accessible to Technology Initiative fund of Government of India being administered by ICICI. Based on the strength of presentation an amount of six crore was sanctioned as soft loan. That became the seed crystal for subsequent Care story!”

An additional amount of about Rs 1.5 crore was mobilised from the team members, who borrowed loans at 24 per cent interest. The group first acquired AK Diagnostic Limited which was managing newly commissioned ABM Hospital in erstwhile premises of a three-star hotel at Nampally, Hyderabad.

“Things moved very fast in June 1997, wherein the 100-bed hospital was commissioned with cardiac services. This was within four weeks of beginning of our negotiations with the group,” says Dr Reddy.

Over the years
In 1998, it opened its second cardiology unit at Secunderbad. In 1999, it opened its third unit in Vizag. In the same year, neurosciences specialty was started at Nampally. “By 2000, from a single specialty hospital group, we wanted to be a multi-specialty hospital group. Thus, we founded our first multi-specialty tertiary care hospital at Banjara Hill by acquiring and renovating a sick five-star hotel (Bhaskara Palace Hotel),” says Dr Somaraju. It was 200 beds when it was commissioned and now has been scaled up to 405 beds.

From 2000 to 2005 there was a lull. In 2005, the group started its facility in Vijaywada with 100 beds. From 2006 onwards, the group decided to venture outside Andhra Pradesh. In December 2006, it opened a hospital in Nagpur, acquired a hospital in Pune in 2007 and started a JV project in Raipur in 2007.

“We have witnessed phenomenal growth among private healthcare providers in terms of capacity, geographic spread and business. Care grew from single specialty single unit to multi-specialty hospital chain with 12 units in five states; from 100 beds to over 2,000 beds; from 20 medical staff to 400; from 200 associates to 6,000 associates; from Rs 30 crore per annum revenue to over Rs 300 crore annual revenue over one decade,” says Dr Somaraju.

Revenues have been growing at 36 per cent year-on-year over the decade. “This year Care will have 500,000 out-patient visits, 100,000 admissions, 4,000 cardiac surgical procedures, 10,000 cath procedures, and 15,000 non-cardiac surgical procedures,” says Dr Somaraju.

Care has also been synonymous with research, encompassing epidemiological, basic sciences, clinical and translational research. There are approximately 60 ongoing clinical trials. Beginning with Kalam-Raju stent, translational research lead to cardiovascular stent development programme, including drug-eluting stents and polymer-based various diagnostic and therapeutic catheter technologies, it has been working in developing telemedicine and remote diagnostic and point-of-care solutions.

Overcoming roadblocks
Building the first hospital was not that difficult. “The major challenge has been to sustain Care philosophy founded on strong ethics and values with patient interests in the centre and Care model of an integrated system of delivery, education and research with professionals working in closely knit teams, especially when we are spreading to across the country,” says Dr Somaraju.

The group is mainly finding it difficult to recruit trained manpower in remote corners of the country. “It is also difficult to look for people who are in sync with our philosophy. For us healthcare is not a business model, it is a passion for medicine and an ongoing mission” says he.

Mistakes made and lessons learnt
The group has burnt its fingers in managing hospitals through franchisee models. “This model failed for us because of clash of interests. And after a couple of failure in this model, we decided to discontinue it,” says Dr Somaraju. Additionally, lack of knowledge of corporate governance and business management made the group go through some rough patch. “However, we are a learning organisation and our enterprise is an experiment in motion. While we steadfastly preserve our core philosophy, we provide a large framework to innovate,” says he.

Fears and apprehensions
“Frankly, we were more fearless and bolder when we begun than when we are attempting to spread our wings outside tested waters. We were ignorant of business and management. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss!” says Dr Somaraju.

Tips for entrepreneurship
“You need to have enormous passion coupled with hard work to drive your vision. If your purpose is patient care, everything else follows. You need to be the change that you want to bring,” says he.

Contribution to healthcare
Dr Somaraju and his team set up the Department of Cardiology at the charitable Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi and provided free professional services from 1991 to 1994. He had participated in randomised study of balloon mitral valvuloplasty Vs Surgical Closed Mitral Commissurotomy – Immediate and long-term results, Randomised Study of Balloon Mitral Valvuloplasty Vs Surgical Open Mitral Valvotomy – Immediate and long-term results. Dietary correlation’s with lipid profiles in patients with and without Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in Indian population, Phase-III Clinical Investigation of EB Sideri’s Button device for closure of arterial septal defects and patent ductus arteriosus, indigenous development of cardiovascular catheters- diagnostic catheters, coronary angioplasty balloon, valvuloplasty balloon catheters.

He has been involved in indigenous development of external and implantable pacemakers in collaboration with Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, development of indigenous coronary stent in association with Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory Centre (DMRL), Hyderabad, development of PC-based cardiac stress test system in association with Defence Bio-Engineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bangalore.

He has conducted the first Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) in India on April 17, 1985. He has developed India’s first coronary stent (Kalam-Raju Stent) and implanted on December 22, 1996 at Mediciti Hospitals. This contributed to significant reduction of the cost of stents, as a whole, in India.

He has contributed to the introduction of India’s first Coronary Balloon Care Ultima on October 29, 1998. He also has written a book called ‘clinical methods in cardiology.’

Awards
He has been honoured with Padma Shri, ‘Uttama seva patra’ by Government of Andhra Pradesh, Asian Innovation Award in 1998 by The Far Eastern Economic Review, Andreas Gruentzig Memorial Award, 8th Yudhvir memorial award and Express Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award.

An entrepreneur that he admires in healthcare
He respects Dr GN Rao of LV Prasad Eye Institute.

The road ahead
Dr Somaraju plans to scale up its tertiary care model by setting up new state-of-art hospitals in newer territories. His vision for the next decade is 10,000 beds. The Group may also consider going public.

He is also working on transforming the group to become an integrated healthcare delivery model. “We want to build a network of urban hospitals (both secondary and tertiary care models), country healthcare, disease management set-up, home-based healthcare and high-end quaternary care hospital. We have already started work on this on a pilot basis,” says Dr Reddy.