In the commentary by Dr Laureen Wang, Associate Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS, she highlighted that ageing gracefully for a woman requires not only looking after her outward physical appearance but also taking care of her physical health on the inside. Similar in efforts to maintaining a youthful appearance, the investments into looking after heart health will pay off well when she starts off early on in life.
A study by NUHCS found that after Singapore raised its DORSCON level to Orange, the average time it took for heart attack patients arriving at the hospital to receive treatment was longer and the rate of out of hospital cardiac arrests also increased. However, the mortality rate remained unchanged. NUHCS urged the public to call for an ambulance immediately when one experiences symptoms of heart attack such as chest pain and shortness of breath. Dr Nicholas Chew, Senior Resident, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS highlighted that door to balloon time (D2B) is the time it takes for a heart attack patient to undergo balloon angioplasty to expand the blocked or narrowed blood vessel. The current gold standard for this treatment is 90 minutes and studies have shown that patients who can undergo D2B within 90 minutes have reduced from 80.9% before the outbreak to 71.4%. ZB noted the ratio of patients who received D2B treatment within 90 minutes was the lowest in the two weeks before and after Singapore entered DORSCON Orange, but this gradually improved. Dr Loh Poay Huan, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS pointed out that this could be due to healthcare staff getting more familiarised with the operational changes that were affected due to COVID-19.
Asst Prof Yeo Tee Joo, Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS to talk about his health vision for the coming year. Asst Prof Yeo shared that the COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized the way people live and work. With video conferencing and work from home practices becoming the new normal, many people may now be exercising lesser and may face some health issues earlier than expected. For the coming year, he is looking forward to engaging more outdoor activities with his family.
Commentary by Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director, National University Heart Centre Singapore, highlighted pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) which can be of unknown cause. He shared that idiopathic PAH accounts for nearly 50% of cases, mainly in young and middle-aged women. Although this disease is relatively rare, it is highly malignant and can be termed as the “cancer” of cardiovascular disease. Today, new treatment options are available and although they cannot cure PAH, they can help reduce clinical symptoms, slow down disease progression and maximise the lifespan of patients. Currently, the annual survival rate for one and three years has increased to 90% and 70% respectively.
A study led by A/Prof Mark Chan, Deputy Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Translational Research Programme, NUS Medicine and Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS), found that recovering heart attack patients can be well cared for by highly trained experienced nurses supported by digital health tools, whose quality of care equals or even exceeds those provide by cardiologists.
Commentary by A/Prof Ronald Lee, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS), highlighted facts on sleep apnea and how this sleep disorder can be treated.
Commentary by Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director, NUHCS, highlighted facts on hybrid coronary revascularization and how this procedure can be used to treat coronary heart disease.
Commentary by Dr Peter Chang, Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS, highlighted facts on peripheral artery disease and how this disease can be treated.
Patients suffering from severe mitral regurgitation can now undergo a new minimally invasive surgery, through the areola into the heart to repair the mitral valve. The wound is only two centimetres in size, and patients can be discharged from the hospital a few days after the operation. A/Prof Kofidis Theodoros, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, NUHCS, shared that currently about 95% of patients with mitral regurgitation are suitable for minimally invasive surgery, and about 40% are suitable for minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery. He hopes more patients can benefit from this type of surgery in the next two years.
Commentary by Dr Lin Weiqin, Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS, shed light on heart failure and how new medications together with healthy diet and lifestyle can make a positive change to patients’ heart health.
In an interview with Channel 8 Frontline, Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director, NUHCS, shed light on the common symptoms of heart attack and elaborated on the differences between heart attack and cardiac arrest.
Dr Raymond Wong, Senior Consultant and Director of Clinical Services, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS, discussed on the recently approved dapagliflozin for heart failure treatment in adults with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) with and without type-2 diabetes. The medication has been approved for reduction of risk of hospitalisation due to heart failure in type-2 diabetes patients with high risk factors since 2019.
In the commentary, Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director, NUHCS, reviewed the development of coronary artery bypass grafting procedure over the decades and discussed the opportunities and limitations of coronary artery bypass procedure.
He mentioned NUHCS has taken the lead in minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS), which is a good treatment option for heart valve repair or replacement. Research has revealed that as compared to traditional bypass surgery, length of hospital stay, readmission rate, and infection rate are significantly reduced.
Commenting on the best course of action to take when someone collapses from what appears to be signs of a heart attack, Dr Loh Poay Huan, Senior Consultant with NUHCS Department of Cardiology, said one is better off calling the ambulance for one foremost reason: early treatment limits the damage to the heart muscle. He noted that at NUHCS, the ratio of walk-ins to ambulance cases is about 30:70 as compared to the national average of 50:50, which can be attributed to the establishment of the Western STEMI Network to centralise STEMI treatment in a tertiary cardiac centre.
Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director of NUHCS, explained what happens during an aortic dissection, and how it is different from a heart attack.