Dr. Vemuri Murthy receiving Medal of Recognition as " Global Champion of Resuscitation" from Congressman Hon. Danny K Davis and Congressman Hon. Peter J Roskam
By Ajay Ghosh
“World Heart Day” is being observed on September 29th this year with the objective of raising awareness of heart disease and promoting “Healthy Heart” lifestyles. “Heart disease is the number one Global Public Health problem,” says Dr. Vemuri S. Murthy, an advocate of Community and Physician resuscitation education and training for more than three decades in the USA and India. “It is disheartening to see patients with reversible health conditions die suddenly due to lack of both Community Health Awareness and Timely Emergency Care based on Evidence-based Resuscitation Practices.”
An alumnus of Guntur Medical College, Guntur and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (General Surgery), and a former Chairman of Anesthesiology Department at West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park, Illinois, Dr. Murthy has been hailed as a “Pioneer of Resuscitation Medicine in India.” A reputed leader of organized medicine in the USA, Dr. Murthy has served as the President of the Chicago Medical Society and the Indian American Medical Association, Illinois.
Affiliated with various US medical organizations and institutions, the soft-spoken Dr. Murthy is a Resuscitation Educator and Researcher, Advisor to Resuscitation Training Centers, Champion of Community Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and a Leader of US Organized Medicine. His Mission has been “Saving Lives” in Sudden Cardiac Arrests. Global evidence-based information has proven that Bystander CPR is life-saving in sudden cardiac arrest. The latter is recognized by the sudden collapse of the person without any breathing, pulse, or consciousness.
According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the U.S. Nearly 90% of them are fatal.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival. In the majority of cases, immediate Hands-only CPR may have similar survival outcomes comparable to the conventional CPR performed with both chest compressions and breaths.
Dr. Murthy is a guide and co-investigator of a ground-breaking Indian Resuscitation Research Project and Cardiac Arrest Registry, Warangal Area Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Registry 2018, based on an international format. He contributed to “CPR” and “Women’s Heart Health” videos and educational articles in news media and is actively involved with Indo-US collaborated comprehensive Cardiac Care Projects.
Quoting evidence-based studies done, Dr. Murthy, a past President of the Chicago Medical Society and current adjunct faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, points to the fact that South Asians are at a four-times greater risk of heart disease than their Western counterparts and have a greater chance of having a heart attack before 50 years of age. Heart attacks strike South Asian Men and Women at younger ages, and as a result, both morbidity and mortality are higher among them compared to any other ethnic group. They tend to develop heart disease ten years earlier than other groups.
The Founder of Chicago Medical Society’s Community CPR Project Saving More Illinois Lives through Education (SMILE,) Dr. Murthy, who has taken upon himself the life-long mission of saving lives through effective preventive measures, says, “Almost one in three among South Asians may die from heart disease before 65 years of age. In India, heart disease remains the number one cause of death. Common risk factors are smoking and a diet high in sugar, salt, refined grains, and fat. A large number of South Asians appear to have “insulin resistance”, a condition in which the body does not utilize insulin efficiently, resulting in Diabetes, which leads to a significant number of heart-related problems. Lack of adequate exercise, stress, and genetic predisposition are also contributing factors,” adds Dr. Murthy, a distinguished Chicago Physician. Project SMILE programs are offered in Illinois at various community events and were commended by international dignitaries, Members of the US Congress, Illinois Governor, and Legislators, and Indian Consul Generals.
A Visiting Professor of Indian Medical Universities, Dr. Murthy has been promoting resuscitation courses for nearly three decades in India. With his guidance, thousands of physicians, medical students, and nurses were trained by the Indian Instructor Faculty. He pioneered an “Indian Medical University Resuscitation Education and Training Model” at Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh (2012). He conducted simulation-based advanced Resuscitation Workshops with international faculty and guided mass community CPR events. He chaired several Resuscitation Conventions in India and organized workshops at prestigious Indian Medical Institutions such as AIIMS, New Delhi.
Dr. Murthy served the American Heart Association in different capacities such as National and International Faculty, Member of the International Committee, Advisor to AHA International Training Centers, and AHA Liaison to Medical Organizations in the USA. He co-chaired programs at the AHA Scientific Sessions and delivered Resuscitation-based lectures at prestigious US medical institutions. He also contributed to AHA’s “Saving Children’s Lives” project in Gujarat, India. AHA leadership recognized his decades of service: “For Volunteer Leadership in Support of Lifesaving Mission of the AHA and its Emergency Cardiovascular Care Programs”.
Dr. Murthy has been actively involved with AAPI as the Chairman of the “AAPI-AHA Liaison Committee”, “Global Resuscitation Committee”, and “Editorial Board Advisor” of the peer-reviewed Journal of AAPI (JAAPI). He also initiated an International AAPI Webinar Continuing Medical Education (CME) program (2020), and IAMA, IL Community CPR Project (2015), and an Indo-US CPR Research Project involving Resident Physicians from US Medical Universities (2016).
In a recent interview, Dr. Vemuri Murthy shared his thoughts and concerns regarding the current status of the out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and diminishing bystander resuscitation help during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Bystander CPR with Defibrillation is a Blessing of Contemporary Medicine enhancing the survival of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victims. Saving Lives with Best Practices should be the top Healthcare Priority for every Nation,” says Dr. Murthy, who hails from the state of Andhra Pradesh and has devoted his entire life towards learning and sharing his knowledge and expertise to the noble cause of Heart Education.
Dr. Vemuri Murthy’s contributions to Global Health, Resuscitation Medicine, and Community Service have been widely recognized through the numerous awards and recognitions that have been bestowed on him. Dr. Murthy was honored with a Medal from US Congressmen as “Global Champion of Resuscitation,” “Lifetime Achievement Award” and “Distinguished Physician Award” from the Indian American Medical Association, Illinois.”
Dr. Murthy was given the “Henrietta Herbolsheimer Public Service Award” and “Leadership Award” by the Chicago Medical Society. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin bestowed on him the “Pioneer of Resuscitation Medicine in India” and “Most Distinguished Service” Awards. He received the “Global Champion of Health Award” from the Global Health Consortium, USA and the “Paul Harris International Service Award” from the Rotary Club and “Global Humanitarian Award” from The Institute of Medicine of Chicago “for providing voluntary, longstanding, and International Humanitarian Health Services” along with commendations from Indian Medical Universities and Medical Societies such as Indian Medical Association and Cardiological Society of India.
Indeed, Dr. Vemuri S. Murthy is truly a “Global Champion of Resuscitation Medicine!”
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