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 Emergency & First Aid

January 2012
The importance of a yearly health checkup
Dr Rama Narsimhan
Preventive Medicine has been the main focus at the Apollo Hospitals. The focus in Medicine has shifted from reacting to the diagnosis to questioning. It is about how can we predict the disease before it manifests itself. It is also about how can we make changes to completely alter the course of the disease.

In a country where patients go to the hospital only when they are sick, Dr. Reddy taught the country to seek help before the problem presented itself, and to take charge of one’s health and well-being.

The system at Apollo hospitals and centers and clinics is such that the patients are guided towards the best cohort of tests, based on the age, co-morbidities and any possible preexisting conditions. Thus, the screening not only predicts and captures the risks, but also prognosticates for the preexisting illnesses.

The Apollo Preventive Health Checks not only aim at diagnosis and treatment on the basis of appropriate screening, but also educate patients to take charge of their health.

There are a few things that a patient might find useful to monitor by themselves at home, so that they can trend their health status until the nexthealth check-up is due.
  • Keep a check on blood pressure and pulse rate, at random intervals.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, exercise (with due clearance from the doctor) and healthy habits and sleep pattern.
  • Problem specific physiotherapy stretches and exercises that are taught at the end of the preventive health check, should be done regularly.
  • Report any changes in vision when reading, viewing far away objects or changes in observing light, colour in day/night time.
  • Although, the breast self-exams were highly emphasized, they no longer are supported by evidence for effective breast cancer screening, A trained health care worker and a mammogram are essential. However, if the patient would like to perform them, pamphlets are available to educate the patients.
  • Women may maintain a monthly calendar of the menstrual cycle.
  • Quarterly height and weight charts should be maintained for all growing children.
  • Specific low weight calisthenics and level surface walking for the elderly (with due clearance from the doctor) should be done regularly.
  • Report annually for the health checkups!
In over two and half decades of serving more than a million lives, the Apollo Preventive Health Check remains one of the most effective and comprehensive way of screening, diagnosing and initiating treatment for the common disorders in India.
Dr Rama Narasimhan is Senior Consultant,Internal Medicine,Apollo Hospitals,Chennai

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