Meet Dr. Muralidar Babi, who has developed programme to reverse heart failure

A customized, structured, graded physical fitness program according to the condition of the patient's heart is developed

By KANIZA GARARI  Published on  11 Aug 2022 4:58 AM GMT
Meet Dr. Muralidar Babi, who has developed programme to reverse heart failure

Hyderabad: Cardiologist Dr. Muralidar Babi has developed a special cardiac rehab programme through which heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and other diseases can be reversed. ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Sanathnagar, Hyderabad is the first in the country to implement this programme. They have developed a special unit for it. The programme started in November 2021.

There are 60 patients enrolled in the programme. Of them, four have shown fantastic results. Fifteen have completed a month of therapy and are at different stages of intervention. Others are being evaluated according to their condition and are in the first week of therapy.


Allow heart to pump blood on its own

Cardiac Rehab program is designed in a manner where the patient with severe disease undergoes a physical fitness program where the heart's capacity to pump blood on its own is improved. A customized, structured, graded physical fitness program according to the condition of the patient's heart is developed. The patient undergoes this program for 3 months. The sessions are three times a week. The pumping capacity of the heart is evaluated on weekly basis. According to their recovery modifications in the exercise, load are carried out. Improvements and functionality are noted.

Every patient can run after the program

"There are four patients in the ESI program who are now able to run for 5 to 15 km. They came with heart failure, heart and lung disease, and severe breathlessness. Two were recommended for a heart transplant but now they are fit and fine," says Dr. Muralidar Babi, Consultant Cardiac Rehab Specialist, and Assistant Professor at ESIC Medical College Hospital.

Dr. Babi carried out a pilot project as part of his research project in CMC Vellore with 40 patients. The team of cardiologists in CMC Vellore decided to go ahead with his idea of reversal and rejuvenation of the heart. The project in Vellore got him funding of Rs 60 lakhs. When he joined ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Hyderabad, the department agreed for him to set up the center.

The enrolment of patients took time as educating and convincing them for the program was a task. Patients were convinced that their heart condition was weak and that they must not indulge in any form of exercise. Low activity and less utilization of their energy were important to protect their heart. "Many of the patients are in the younger and middle-age group. When the program was presented to them, they accepted it as they were already on medications and there was minimal improvement," says Dr. Babi.

Heart and lung transplant is a costly affair and its success rate of survival is for 5 years.

Documented ESIC case studies

19-year-old Lokith was diagnosed with Pulmonary arterial hypertension where the heart and lung muscles become thin. Due to this, he could exercise only for 33 seconds. He was recommended a heart transplant. After the cardiac rehab program, he is now able to jog for 10 km. 49-year-old farmer Durgiah suffered from viral fever but after recovery, he became breathless easily during his agriculture work. He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy where the heart becomes bigger and bigger like a balloon. Due to this, he could not carry out his agriculture work. After the rehab program, he is now able to carry out agriculture work and also lost 5 kgs of weight.

The other case studies are videographed and documented for a better understanding of the medical fraternity and also evidence to patients. They are also being followed up for future references.

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