An invitation to participate…

Advanced Pediatric and Adult Complex Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery at the SSSHIMS Free Hospital, Bangalore, India. December 14th-23rd, 2014

CardioStart announces its first mission to The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, (SSSIHMS) at Prasanthigram, Bangalore, India.

flag1India is a mosaic of contrasting wealth, with more billionaires than most advanced nations but with statistically confirmed evidence of massive social and health deprivation in which large sections of the population have a grossly inadequate level of healthcare. Throughout the population costs of consultation, treatment, surgical procedures and medication procurement are increasingly unaffordable. The doctor population in India is 1:1,500 when compared to an estimated 1:1,000 in China and 1:350 in the United States (USA). In urban cities, the ratio is estimated at around 1:500 while rural India it is at around 1:2,500.

map2The SSSIHMS foundation began as a result of a compassionate vision of the late Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who was an internationally known Indian spiritual leader. Over 65 years,     Sai Baba created free hospitals, free schools and colleges, multiple medical camps and mobile clinics in more remote areas throughout India and the world, safe drinking water for millions and innumerable spiritual ashrams as well as sustainable environmentally sound solutions for diverse villages. The hospital complexes function under the Sri Sathya Sai public charitable Central Trust (since 1972). An ever-growing core of Sai volunteers take part in all medical support, including help to the needy in natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes, to support his legacy since his death in 2011.

pic3During its evolution, the main hospital location and building projects were financed and supported by a generous donation from Mr. Isaac Tigrett, the owner of the Hard Rock Cafe chain, USA, and a number of other donors, including those from corporate medical industry. Dr Michael Nobel, (great grand-nephew of Alfred Nobel), representing the Nobel Peace Laureates Foundation stated, “The combination of the two, of a super specialty, highly advanced, state-of-the-art hospital which is free for the poor is a unique, concept. I have never seen anything like this on earth.”


Cardiac Surgery Status at SSIHMS facilities

SSSIHMS offers free advanced tertiary care in four specialties: Anaesthesiology, Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Neurology and Neurosurgery. The hospital attracts patients seeking treatment from all over India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The main hospital celebrated its 22nd anniversary on the 22nd November 2013 having seen around 2.8 million outpatients and performed well over 206,724 surgeries and procedures.




CardioStart’s role in this location will be to offer:

1]. Priority assistance to help reduce the existing waiting list.   We will take on advanced complex operative solutions to pediatric and adult patients on the waiting list including re-operations; (particular attention will be given to late-presenting congenital heart disease and valve repair techniques, where possible). The local medical and surgical team are actually very advanced in their knowledge and aptitude and are very innovative, but because of the financial limits set by providing an entirely free service, they do have regular frustrations in obtaining in-servicing and acquisition of new equipment/techniques, and certain instrumentation shortcomings.

2]. Advanced anesthetic and perfusion techniques including latest developments in ECMO and circuitry; 3]. Intensive Care nursing education and development of existing protocols and algorithms of care and benchmark improvements where needed. All volunteers should assume they will be required to help with bedside teaching, daily lectures and advanced techniques in all relevant areas.

Subject to a satisfactory first visit, our volunteers will then become part of a regular future visiting pediatric and adult cardiac programs to help reduce the large numbers of patients needing help.

THE TEAM:   Recommended personnel requirements:

1 Pediatric or adult Anesthesiologist
1 Intensivist
1-2 Pediatric / Adult Cardiac Surgeons
1 Cardiologist (Dr. Krishna Rao, Rochester, NY is the inviting cardiologist for SSSHIMS, and will represent CardioStart)
1 Perfusionist
2-3 Cardiovascular ICU nurses (1 adult, 1-2 pediatric ICU nurses)
1 Respiratory Therapist
1 Education Coordinator
1 OR Nurse scrub
1 Database research coordinator (medical)
1 Case manager (nurse)


Applicants are welcome to apply by submitting our Volunteer Interest Form. Team selections will be made based on team needs and professional experience. Mostly, selections will be made on a first come – first served basis. CardioStart tries to balance each team with returning volunteers and those joining a mission for the first time.

Travel & Airfare: Airfare costs will be self-funded by each volunteer.  Each of us will be greeted in Bangalore (Bengaluru International Airport, Code: BLR). The hospital is 30 minutes away.

DO NOT PURCHASE A TICKET UNTIL YOU ARE ACCEPTED ON THE TEAM BY WRITTEN CONFIRMATION. This confirmation will be provided after you have met all the required paperwork submission. DO be careful to check the flying time when purchasing tickets. Some cheaper flights have absurdly long travel times with long layovers.

Lodging:   This will be provided by our hosts in high standard medical accommodation in a wing of the hospital.

Meals: During the day, meals will be available and provided for by the hospital.   Evening meals/snacks, etc. will also be freely available in the hotel wing or you may visit local restaurants, at volunteers’ own expense. They are generally of a high standard and inexpensive. Despite being generally safe, volunteers are best venturing out in groups.

pic5Touring: CardioStart mission leaders cannot directly help you make internal tourist travel arrangements but you can usually obtain travel packages during the week you arrive.  Bangalore is one of the most important tourist centers of the Karnataka state and known as the Garden City of India. The Dodda Alada Mara, an astonishingly big banyan tree covering 3 acres is at least 400 years old. Bannerghatta National Park is home for one of the richest natural, zoological reserves and a major tourist attraction of Bangalore. Other attractions include the Mysore Palace, Shivanasamudra Falls dividing as twin waterfalls, dropping 90 m. Any travel excursions/tours should be conducted well before or after the mission work to ensure you are in good health; CardioStart’s responsibility ends after December 22nd.

pic6Personal Health: The city of Bangalore is one of the most neat and clean cities in India. Malaria (very low risk in Bangalore), Leprosy, Dengue, TB, & H1-N1 are important diseases in certain parts of India and reasonable precautions should be made – especially, if you have a previous or current condition which might imperil your immune response and you plan to travel around inside the country. Hepatitis A & tetanus boosters should be obtained in any case. Diphtheria; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid & Yellow Fever should be considered and CDC advisories followed before planning the mission. All volunteer activity in the hospital or Outreach areas will be carried out adopting universal precautionary measures, where possible. You should have a routine check-up before travel of your HIV and Hepatitis a/b/c status. Vaccinations should be reviewed and documented by your local travel clinic in good time. If you have a chronic serious medical condition you should obtain consultation and approval from your doctor prior to the mission. You will also be required to either purchase travel medical insurance or proof of medical coverage out of your home country. (Full details will be sent to those volunteers joining this mission).

Applying for CardioStart’s Mission to Bangalore, India:

Please visit our website by submitting our Volunteer Interest Form, complete the Volunteer Interest Form and upload your CV/resume. Correspondence and applications should be directed soon through the Tampa,FL, USA Office. Upon being accepted on the team, you will receive additional correspondence from CardioStart via email with information on how to proceed in submitting necessary paperwork and documentation.

pic7Mission Director: to be announced.

Why should we help?

Heart disease is highest cause of mortality, worldwide. About half of under-five deaths occur in only five countries: China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

Children are at greater risk of dying before age five if they are born in rural areas, poor households, or to a mother denied basic education.

More than half of under-five child deaths are due to diseases that are preventable and treatable through simple, affordable interventions.