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Sunday, November 15, 2009

'More awareness about arterial blockages required'

AHMEDABAD: The First National Endovascular Workshop'was kicked off at Apollo Hospital on Saturday. Nearly 200 delegates from all over India are taking part in the two-day workshop which will impart live training in removal of blockages in arteries supplying blood to the brain, kidneys, intestines, legs and hands.

Nearly 10 live procedures will be performed under the guidance of international faculty-leading interventional cardiologist of France Dr Michele Henry and US-based Dr Krishna Rocha Singh. Director of cardiology department at Apollo, Dr Sameer Dani will be the course director.

Dr Dani said that while there is lot of awareness among the common people about blockages in the heart, it is lesser known that blockages occur in vessels supplying blood to other vital organs which can cause much morbidity and even prove fatal in many cases.

"People who have a heart disease with multiple blockages have a 20 to 25 per cent chance of developing blockages in other arteries as well. This is significant as younger people are getting heart attacks in our country due to blockages," he said.

According to Dr Dani, awareness needs to be created to detect and treat these peripheral blockages. "Unlike heart blockages where invasive angiography needs to be done, blockages in other arteries can be detected through a simple doppler ultrasound test," he added.

People need to be especially aware of blocks in carotid arteries which can cause a severely crippling or fatal brain stroke. PL Kumar, a scientist, was lucky as his block was diagnosed in time after he was investigated for blurring of vision and slurring of speech.

"The blockage was removed by stenting. It could have led to something fatal," said Kumar, 70. Dr Henry, who is considered a pioneer in offering non-surgical treatment to people having peripheral blockages, said that in 90 per cent of such blockages major surgery can be avoided by removing the blockages through stenting.
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