Heart patient? Here’s how to deal with World Cup madness

By Manpreet Kaur, IANS,

New Delhi : As anxiety builds up around Saturday’s India-Sri Lanka World Cup final, cardiologists have a word of advice for heart patients: Take medicine on time, ensure frequent breaks during the match and avoid snacks, alcohol, tea and coffee.

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Kurnal Balbir Kalra, senior cardiologist at Artemis Hospital and general secretary of the Indian Academy of Eco-cardiology, said heart patients should not get too involved in the match.

“People suffering from heart rhythm abnormality, chest pain, blockage in heart and high blood pressure can suffer sudden cardiac arrest. Their blood pressure can shoot up and this can aggravate the pulse. So it a must for them to not get over-excited and control their behaviour,” Kalra told IANS.

“They should not get carried away. Another thing which is very important is that they should take their medicines on time and not delay them,” he added.

Short breaks are a must to avoid tension, said Bhavna Barmi, senior clinical psychologist at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre.

“It is advisable for them to not get emotionally involved in the game. They should also prepare themselves for the unexpected. It is very important for them to take breaks during the match,” Barmi told IANS.

“They should be cautious about their eating habits also. They shouldn’t munch too much of chips or have excess tea or coffee. They should also avoid aerated drinks or alcohol or heavy snacks while watching the match,” she added.

D.S. Gambhir, cardiologist and director of the Kailash Group of Hospitals, said apart heart patients, the tension can also affect others.

“During such intense matches excitement is high. A normal and healthy person can also suffer a cardiac arrest, so for those who have a weak heart it’s a crucial moment,” he said.

“They should refrain themselves from watching such matches but if they cannot, then they should take their medication on time. Reaction and over reaction towards a specific moment can cause problems. The best alternative for them is to listen to the running commentary on the radio or sit in another room and overhear the commentary.”

Heart patients should not watch the match in the stadium.

“Going to the stadium is not right option for them, they should avoid it completely.”

Asked if he had encountered such patients, Gambhir said: “Yes, I had attended to a patient a few years back who suffered from massive chest pain. He was a 42-year-old man. It happened in Dubai when Pakistan and India were playing and he suddenly developed chest pain. Fortunately, he was saved. It was my first encounter.”