Saturday, September 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Blue babies’ can be treated with Viagra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The general belief in India that “blue babies” are doomed and cannot survive may soon become a misconception, as the use of Viagra for treating them has proved to be quite successful in the ongoing trials being undertaken at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and a few other places in the country.

Dr Savitri Shrivastava, senior cardiologist at Escorts and former head of the Cardiology Department at the Sanjay Gandhi Institute, today delivered Prof Bidwai Memorial Guest Lecture at the PGI.

Though an ethical Debate on using Viagra for treating a “blue baby” started after a Cochi-based doctor went public with the disclosure, the fact is this medication was being used on a trial basis by many other doctors since much earlier,” she said.

She said it was not appropriate to go to media with this disclosure till the procedure was standardised after being used on a number of such babies. “ I have myself used Viagra for treating two patients, aged six and 15 , and in both cases it worked well,” she remarked.

Elaborating on the prevalence of cardiac problems in children , she said the most common complaint was that of a hole in the heart. In blue babies” due to an obstruction in valves pure and unoxygenated blood gets mixed up. “The unfortunate part is that even today majority of parents have wrong notions that a child should be of a particular age and weight to undergo a cardiac procedure, whereas the timing of the treatment is solely decided by the condition of the patient,” she reasoned out.

Dr Shrivastava, said the level of awareness amongst the Indian masses about cardiac problems in children was very low as majority believed that it was a problem of adults. She added that it is only timely help that would save the life of a child, especially in a very severe and complicated case.

She said symptoms like a child being blue, feeding difficulty with unprovoked sweating, badly underweight, and frequent bouts of pneumonia should be taken as warning signs for cardiac problems, needing immediate medical attention. She said one per cent of the live births in India were born with congenital heart defects, and their survival rate was very low as a majority died within the first year itself.

The piece of advice Dr Shrivastava had for parents suffering from cardiac problems was that they should start screening their child right from a tender age. “Another fact that needs to be driven home amongst public in our country is that balanced dietary habits and an exercise routine must be inculcated as seedlings of cardiac problems start sprouting early and the damage is already done by the time the problem is detected,” she explains.

She said that India was in no way lagging behind as the latest techniques in paediatric cardiology were concerned. But the number of such institutes was very few.

The lecture on “Interventions in Paediatric Cardiology” was organised to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr P.S. Bidwai, who is known as the father of paediatric cardiolgy in India. He was not only instrumental in starting the cardiac catheterisation laboratory at the PGI but also started the Paediatric Cardiology clinic.

The session was chaired by the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, while the Dean , Dr O.N. Nagi, and Prof Nakul Sinha head of the Cardiology Department at Sanjay Gandhi PGI at Lucknow, were the guests of honour.


Shatrughan to visit PGI on Sept 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The much awaited visit of the Union Health Minister, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, to the PGI on September 29, to attend the governing body meeting, has assumed significance as a number of important issues are likely to be discussed at the meeting of the apex body of the institute.

Since this would be the first visit of Mr Sinha, to the PGI since he assumed office, the meeting is being considered crucial. Prior to this, a meeting of the Standing Finance Committee will be held in New Delhi on September 19.

“Apart from routine matters, the CBI raids in the Engineering Wing of the PGI, regarding alleged irregularities in grant of contracts for the construction of the Advanced Cardiac Centre and the Trauma Centre, are likely to rock the governing body meeting this time,” said one of the members of the body. He added that such issues, apart from the agenda items, can be raised by any member if he wished to do so.

Close on the heels of the CBI raids, is the issue of impending charge sheet against some PGI employees against whom there had been vigilance inquiries.”

During the last governing body meeting held on April10, majority of the agenda items could not be discussed as most of the time was devoted to discuss the issue of the Dean of the PGI. “As such the pending items of the last meeting are also likely to be taken up at this meeting,” sources said. Over 60 items were on the agenda for the last meeting.

Senior doctors at the PGI are also eagerly awaiting the governing body meeting as the selections and promotions made by the Selection Committee have to be ratified by the governing body. Though the exact number of appointments of Professors and Assistant Professors could not be ascertained as the agenda for the meeting was still being chalked out, but it is reliably learnt that this number is well over 50.

The PGI authorities are hoping that with this being the first visit of the Union Health Minister to the PGI, some important announcements are likely. Though the exact programme is still being chalked out, the minister is likely to perform some inaugurations, including that of the Nursing Institute.


GMSSS-23, St Stephen’s win
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, September 13
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, and St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, outplayed their respective opponents, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, and Sanjay Public School, Sector 44, by 7-0 and 4-1, respectively on the third day of the Administrator Cup Football Tournament played here today at Sector 42 Sports Complex. In another tie played here today, Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, defeated Rajkiya Madhyamik Vidyalya, Rohtak, by a solitary goal. In fourth and last match of the day, Youth Club, Roorkalan, beat Little Star, Yamunanagar, by 7-0

Football meet

The Senior State Chandigarh Police Shaheed Samarak Football Championship will be held at Police Lines grounds, Sector 26, from September 15 to 20. The tournament will be inaugurated by Mr M.S. Bhullar, Director General Police, Punjab, on September 15 at 4 pm.

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