Cardiology Web Exclusive | Return to The Himalayas: Serving the Medical Needs in Northern India

In July 2018, I returned to the Himalayas to provide medical care to the local communities along with training to medical students from the U.S. and U.K. while on a medical expedition with the Himalayan Health Exchange (HHE). Some of you may recall my first trip to the Himalayas in April 2016 and the blog of my journey in Cardiology.

My second trip to the Himalayas proved to be as thrilling and fulfilling as the first. I’m happy to share my experiences with you in Cardiology once again.

A snapshot of Our Work

  • Final patient count:      995
  • Final Echo count:          40
  • Final iStat labs:             60
  • Highest altitude:          14,951 feet
    (Slightly over 10 Empire State Buildings sitting atop one another!)

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What the numbers above can’t tell you — but I believe you’ll learn as you view the posts from each day and their galleries — is the tremendous satisfaction we derived from providing a high level of medical care to those in great need that rarely receive it.

However, even without the technology we rely on every day there is much we can do in these low-resource settings.

I encourage each of you to consider how you can help support global health through the Himalayan Health Exchange (himalayanhealth.com) or other organizations. Together, we contribute to improving heart health in our own backyards and around the world.

HIDE

While I originally intended for this be a daily blog, I overestimated the capacity of the local Wi-Fi to send my posts and photos. As a result, the updates were sent in batches as internet access allowed.

My group of 20 medical students, residents and attending physicians spent 21 days in the Spiti region, a very remote part of northeastern India in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The founder of HHE, Ravi Singh, leads a medical expedition to this region at least six times a year.

When there are no foreign medical workers available for an expedition, Singh works tirelessly to establish and maintain relationships with local physicians who follow-up with the patients seen in camps, ensuring that they obtain necessary medical and surgical care.

Our group was supported by family and friends and we were fortunate to receive additional support from Philips and Abbott. Philips' Lumify and Abbott’s i-STAT handheld devices assisted our diagnostic capabilities throughout the trip.

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Clinical Topics: Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Geriatric Cardiology, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Noninvasive Imaging, Prevention, Pulmonary Hypertension and Venous Thromboembolism, Valvular Heart Disease, Congenital Heart Disease, CHD and Pediatrics and Arrhythmias, CHD and Pediatrics and Imaging, Acute Heart Failure, Pulmonary Hypertension

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Heart Defects, Congenital, Geriatrics, Heart Failure, Heart Failure, Diagnostic Imaging, Preventive Medicine, Secondary Prevention, Hypertension, Pulmonary, Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome, Heart Valve Diseases


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