Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Tenecteplase, a lifesaver for cardiac patients, running out – Talk with a medical consultant amid economic crisis

There is a soaring of cases related to heart diseases on a daily basis in Sri Lanka and these cases are evident in all social classes inclusive of younger people, said Dr. Gotabhaya Ranasinghe, joining a live discussion with Economist Dinesh Weerakkody on ‘Business Detective’ today (26).

As the cases are going up, heart diseases are found in a wider social group irrelevant of one’s employment or socio-economic group, but more importantly even outside the conventional risk factors such as smoking, stress, diabetes and pressure, he emphasised laying foundation to a previously unseen aspect of cardiac complications.

Accordingly, heart diseases can be found among individuals who carry neither of the aforementioned ‘conventional risk factors’, probably due to chronic stress, genetic variations or food habits they carry being overlooked, he pointed out. In the present context of Sri Lanka, there is also a sudden jump of heart diseases among people, Dr. Ranasinghe disclosed.

Shedding light on the challenges faced by the Hospital Sector amid the current economic crisis, Dr. Ranasinghe acknowledged that there are shortages of medicines in the Hospital Sector adding that there may have been a 5 – 10 per cent of essential medicines being run out. The matter, nevertheless, has been discussed with the authorities and the manufacturers in a bid to collect medicines back, he added.

Into which extent is the regaining process sustainable, however, is uncertain, he went on, revealing that some of the most essential medicines used in his area of specialisation, including Tenecteplase, a lifesaver for all cardiac patients, are slowly running out. Accordingly, the temporary application of solutions is worrisome in the context of sustainability, he pointed out.

Dr. Gotabhaya Ranasinghe is the Senior Consultant Cardiologist at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka and also Honorary Consultant Cardiologist to the Sri Lanka Navy holding the rank of Surgeon Rear admiral. A leading general and interventional Cardiologist in the country, he completed a Fellowship in Clinical and Interventional Cardiology at John Radcliff Hospital in Oxford, United Kingdom, has performed about 9,000 procedures including approximately 4,000 Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) in his career. In addition he has written two short books, has several peer reviewed publications and made more than 40 presentations in Cardiology conferences. He was the President of Sri Lanka Heart Association (SLHA) in 2014. Dr. Ranasinghe also co-founded ‘STEMI Sri Lanka Forum’ to optimize STEMI care in Sri Lanka. Dr Ranasinghe is a commentator and writes frequently to newspapers and journals.


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