Civic hospitals are set to get four new heart-lung machines by September 10. While KEM will get two machines,Sion and Nair hospitals will get one each. These will help the hospitals perform more open-heart surgeries,said doctors.
The machines are being procured by BMC after a delay of nearly four years,mainly due to non-availability of the equipment.
KEM hospital currently has just one heart-lung machine,which is well past its average life-span of 10 years. A second machine,which had been in use for 20 years,broke down in March.
Currently,only two to three patients can be operated on in a day at KEM.
A heart-lung machine provides circulatory support oxygen delivery,blood flow,temperature maintenance and removal of carbon dioxide. It is used for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and other cardiac-related problems.
Dr Saeeda Arif Khan,local corporator from Kurla,said the issue was raised during BMCs public health committee meeting in May. The heart-lung machine in KEM was used for 20 years and may not have been very efficient by the end. Also,till June,there were 700 children waiting their turn for open-heart surgery, she said.
Dr NB Agrawal,department head of cardio-vascular thoracic surgery in KEM,said,Right now,we are referring a few patients to Sion and Nair hospitals for surgery.
The dean of Sion Hospital,Dr Avinash Supe,confirmed that eight to ten patients are referred from KEM for open-heart surgeries in a month.
We already have two machines,of which one is 10-12 years old. By September,we are expecting one more heart-lung machine,which will increase the number of surgeries we can perform, Supe said.
Earlier in June,BMC had decided to install the new machines within six weeks. However,the procurement process was delayed as only one bidder turned up.
While an open-heart surgery costs anywhere around Rs 60,000 in civic hospitals,it can cost up to Rs 1 crore at a private hospital. A single heart-lung machine costs Rs 1 crore, Agrawal said.