Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, an Indo-US resuscitation expert, faculty member at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, has been appointed by the Government of Odisha as the State “Advisor on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” Projects. He is the first ever to be appointed by the Odisha State Government as the Health Advisor from the United States and will be involved with comprehensive Resuscitation- involved State projects.
Heart disease is a major Global Public Health problem. People of Indian Origin 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.
In India, heart disease remains the number one cause of death. Nearly 36% of deaths in India are due to heart disease, and 80% of them are preventable. More than 4200 sudden cardiac arrests occur per every one lakh of the population in India annually with a survival rate of less than 10%. Immediate on-the-spot Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by a bystander and early use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can save millions of lives across the world.
Dr. Murthy initiated a statewide Community CPR training program of “Hands-only CPR with AED” (Automated External Defibrillator) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on February 2, 2023, inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Naveen Patnaik. The single-day training for 2400 participants included 1000 Odisha police, nursing students, and community members. In addition to Sri Jagannatha Service Foundation and Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Odisha, American Heart Association and AIIMS (Bhubaneswar) have also participated in the inaugural program of the First State-endorsed community CPR project in India.
The plan is to train 200,000 people in the state of Odisha by the end of 2025 with the potential to save thousands of lives in Odisha. The participants received Community Bystander informational pamphlets in Oriya and “Healthy Heart” informational flyers from the American Heart Association with participation certificates.
Dr. Murthy, a current Visiting Professor at AIIMS (Mangalagiri) and SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Odisha, also contributed to pioneering Indian Cardiac Arrest Registry research by partnering with Indian peers.
Dr. Murthy, whose mission has been to provide education on the importance of community CPR training and has led trainings in India and the United States thanked the Hon’ble Chief minister for his vision and support for the statewide lifesaver project.
Dr. Murthy was recognized as a “Global Champion of Resuscitation” by the US Congress and is considered a “Pioneer of Resuscitation Training in India” for introducing mandatory resuscitation training in the Indian Medical College curriculum in 2011.
A past President of Indian American Medical Association (Illinois) and Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Murthy has been involved with the American Heart Association in various capacities for more than two decades, such as International and National Faculty, Liaison for AHA-India Projects, member of the International Committee and Advisor to AHA International Training Centers. He was also the Founder (2011) of Chicago Medical Society’s Community CPR Project SMILE (Saving More Illinois Lives through Education).
Dr. Murthy is a longtime life member of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) with distinguished service to the Organization, chairing many committees and actively participating in Global Health Projects of AAPI. He is a recipient of several prestigious National and International Honors and Awards.