New Delhi: How did a patient die despite proper treatment or why could not the medical team identify a patient’s disease even after a battery of tests? These and many more medical mysteries involving unexplained deaths will be relayed live from Chandigarh’s PGIMER to medical institutions in Nepal and Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia for the first time ever.
“PGI is known for conducting the highest number of clinico-pathological conferences (CPCs) – a case-based method of learning medicine by problem-solving approach – since its inception. It is known globally that we are the only institute that has clinical autopsies for teaching and learning,” according to Prof Vivek Lal, the PGI director.
“Our CPC sessions conducted in the mornings will be relayed to Southeast Asian countries with the help of the department of telemedicine. We are the first country in the world to start this initiative and it will be launched by the first week of October,” Prof Lal added.
PGIMER, Chandigarh, is already relaying these sessions live to over 100 medical colleges across India. These conferences are presented every Wednesday by the PGI faculty and every Monday by medical residents on unexplained deaths in the institute. “We are already live streaming such cases to the 103 medical colleges in the country using this platform. These will now be shared internationally. Dr Amit Agarwal has been assisting us on this,” said Prof Biman Saikia, head of the department of telemedicine in PGI.
The PGI director has ambitious plans for these conferences. “With an average 10 autopsies in a month we are positioned at the top globally for CPCs. I also plan to take this learning session to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School,” he said. Autopsies are a vital tool to understand unexplained deaths, such as sudden arrests among young people despite no signs of abnormalities in ECG/ECHO. They help in ascertaining the cause of these deaths, according to Prof Uma Nahar Saikia, of PGI’s department of histopathology.
“Such unknown causes can be unfolded after autopsies. This will benefit families when the cause is ascertained as genetic abnormality. Also, it paves the way for future diagnostics and treatment modalities as the field of medicine is ever evolving,” she said. “During a CPC, a clinician presents his case and theoretically gives the causes of death. Subsequently, a pathologist who has conducted the autopsy shows the slides and discloses the cause of death. This helps in learning, teaching and diagnostics,” Prof Saikia added.