Meet the doctor from Bengaluru who saved a woman voter’s life on polling day

A nephrologist who was waiting in the queue to vote saw a woman faint with no pulse. He immediately performed CPR and saved her life.

ByChetana Belagere

Published Apr 26, 2024 | 2:37 PMUpdatedApr 26, 2024 | 2:37 PM

Dr Ganesh Srinivasa Prasad, the fainted woman. (X)

With a heatwave-like situation prevailing in Bengaluru amidst the polling for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Friday, 26 April, a nephrologist saved the life of a woman who collapsed in a queue.

At a polling booth in the Jambu Savari Dinne area in the Bangalore Rural constituency, Nephrologist Dr Ganesh Srinivas Prasad saved the life of a woman before heading to work.

Dr Ganesh had intended to quickly cast his vote early in the morning, only to encounter a surprisingly long queue of voters braving the rising heat.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections: Karnataka posts 38.23 percent voter turnout till 1 pm

The incident

While waiting to exercise his franchise, Dr Prasad noticed a woman collapsing and subsequently losing her conscience while she tried to approach the water station near the queue.

He came forward to help the nearly 50-year-old woman when the booth workers and police personnel there scrambled for medical assistance.

Dr Prasad rushed to the woman, cleared the space around her, and immediately realised the lady had a syncope.

It is a condition when a person abruptly faints, resulting in a temporary loss of consciousness usually because of insufficient blood flow to the brain.

Speaking to South First, Dr Prasad explained, “I sprung into action and saw that the woman’s eyes had rolled up and was gasping for breath. I couldn’t detect any pulse and the peripheries were cold. I immediately went and performed CPR and she was revived.”

Dr Prasad explained that it took about five minutes for the ambulance to arrive and opined that it would be better if the poll booths had ambulances nearby.

However, he said, the ambulance arrived at the right time and the woman was shifted to a nearby hospital, where she is recovering.

He said, “I am glad that I could help her and I was there at the right time. People who go out in the sun to vote must remember to hydrate themselves very well,” he explained.

Appreciation poured on social media

Minutes ahead of the incident, Dr Prasad had posted on X about the long queue he had to encounter.

“Democratic process is taking a long time,” he had written.

Following the incident, the doctor posted the video of the woman being shifted to a hospital and said, “As I was waiting in queue… one lady had syncope and cardiac arrest in front of me. There was no pulse and I started immediate CPR…. luckily she got ROSC within minutes,” he said.

ROSC means Return of Spontaneous Circulation which is the resumption of sustained perfusing cardiac activity associated with significant respiratory effort after cardiac arrest.

Signs of ROSC include moving, coughing, or breathing aligned with signs of a palpable pulse.

This tweet went viral with several people appreciating the doctor’s deed. Several doctors also appreciated and said they were glad that he was present in that situation. A renowned nephrologist Sundar Sankaran from Aster CMI Hospitals said, “Thank God you were there to help,”

Several others thanked him for his deed and said CPR training should be mandatory for all professionals for times like these.

“Your quick thinking has saved a life. Thank you,” said Abhijeet Kaji with X handle @abhijeetkaji.

Another person said it is a sad state of affairs that such a life-saving technique was not taught in schools.

However, Dr Prasad said that the patient needs a thorough evaluation and needs to monitor cardiac health because if there are any cardiac conditions then there may be a recurrence of such incidents.

Also Read: Take adequate precautions, safeguard from intense summer heat: Tamil Nadu CM

Syncope is common during heat

Syncope, also known as fainting or passing out, is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness usually related to a drop in blood flow to the brain. It typically results in a quick and complete recovery. There are various triggers and underlying causes for syncope.

Doctors told South First that Vasovagal syncope is the most common type and occurs due to a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to the brain.

Common triggers include prolonged standing, emotional stress, or exposure to painful or unpleasant situations.

There is also a Cardiac Syncope which is caused by heart-related problems, such as irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), which can affect the pumping ability of the heart and the blood flow to the brain.

“Yes, syncope can definitely happen due to heat. Exposure to high temperatures can lead to various forms of heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In the context of syncope, heat can cause dehydration, which reduces blood volume, making it harder for the body to maintain sufficient blood pressure and flow to the brain,” explained Dr Prasad.

Meanwhile, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, a renowned gastroenterologist from Kochi where the temperature was 43 degrees on 26 April on the polling day told South First that people must remember these things when going out to vote:

  • Carry an umbrella and drinking water
  • People on medication in particular be prepared to wait in the queue
  • Use masks in closed/crowded spaces
  • Know first aid for fainting
  • Do not leave kids in parked cars.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)