New cardiologist puts his heart into his work

IT hasn’t been an easy journey but Mildura’s newest cardiologist has finally arrived.
Dr Sachin Sondhi arrived from India on December 8 bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm.


Mildura Cardiology was beyond happy to have Dr Sondhi arrive after struggling to “attract a full-time cardiologist who was prepared to move to Mildura and make it their home”.


“The main reason I chose Mildura is because of the immediate need for a cardiologist,” Dr Sondhi said.
“They had Melbourne cardiologists flying in and out of Mildura every fortnight and Mildura Cardiology had been searching for a full time cardiologist for the past two and a half years.”


The search for a new full time cardiologist came after Dr Alan Soward retired at the end of 2020 after 32 years of serving the community.


As the new permanent cardiologist residing in Mildura, Dr Sondhi aims to provide continuity of care for the community and support for GPs and both hospitals.


It was during his training that the 33-year-old discovered his desire to become a cardiologist.
“During my internal medicine training I came across many cardiac patients and, as we all know, cardiac diseases are the most common cause of morbidity and mortality,” he said.


“A lot of young people are suffering from cardiac diseases right now and I got a chance to see these patients and I got a chance to treat them, so that is the main reason.”


While working as a cardiologist, Dr Sondhi has also been required to work with many COVID positive patients over the past two years.


“For every family in India, there is not a single family that there was no COVID,” he said.


“Every single family would have had one member that has had COVID, for me, it was my wife who had COVID, she was working in the COVID ICU and got infected, but she is fully vaccinated so had just a mild fever.”


The private hospital that Dr Sondhi worked at in India saw all staff assist with COVID patients.
“Everyone had to give duties in the COIVD ward, even specialist doctors, including myself,” he said.

“It’s a very bad situation there, I worked in a private hospital and in peak times all 100 beds of the hospital had COVID patients.
“I have seen many young patients, including three patients who had complications because of COVID; one had a heart attack, one patient has fluid around the heart and another has weakening of the heart muscles.


“COVID also affects your hearts, not just the lungs.”


Dr Sondhi said the best defence against COVID was to be fully vaccinated.


“Those patients that I have seen that are infected and fully vaccinated had a mild disease but those who aren’t vaccinated or who are old and are diabetic or on dialysis, the mortality is more in these patients,” he said.


“In young patients who are fully vaccinated, you can catch the infection but it’s very mild.”


Next year is expected to be a very exciting year for the young doctor who will not only be settling into Mildura, but also welcoming his first child in February with his wife, who is expected to make Mildura her home once the baby arrives.

Dr Juan Mundisugih

‘Dr Juan Mundisugih is our latest Cardiology Registrar from the Alfred Hospital.

He will be working at Mildura Cardiology and Mildura Base Hospital for the next six months.

Cardiology has been his passion since medical school.

He has done numerous cardiology rotations both in Australia and overseas, including rotation in Mayo Clinic, USA.

He is also actively involved in research and has a significant research background with multiple scientific presentations, abstracts, and publications. His long term goal is to practice as a Cardiologist in a variety of settings both urban and rural.’

Dr Vinay Bharatula

Dr Vinay Bharatula is our latest Cardiology Registrar from The Alfred Hospital.

 

He is undertaking a dual training role in General and Intensive Care medicine and will be working at Mildura Cardiology and Mildura Base Hospital for the next six months.

Vinay is excited to learn echocardiograghy as part of his placement in Mildura.

He loves his sport and plays cricket, tennis and pretty much any other ball sports you can throw at him. He also enjoys, snow skiing, hiking and travelling the world (when he gets time).

Vinay is a ‘born and bred’ Melbourne boy who loves Aussie rules football, but unfortunately barracks for Collingwood!

Vinay’s long term goal is to practice as an Intensive Care and General Physician, in a variety of settings both urban and rural.

He would also like to do some overseas training in the future.

 

Dr Naomi Whyler

Dr Naomi Whyler is our current Cardiology Registrar.Originally from Wales she took the long route to Mildura via Scotland and New Zealand.
Her interests include exploring the river by kayak and paddle board, baking, drinking coffee and trying to learn the rules of Aussie football (we haven’t seen much baking).

Naomi is having a ‘wonderful time’ in Cardiology as part of her training in General Medicine, she is intending to specialise in General Medicine & Infectious Diseases.

Naomi is a bit of a prankster and enjoys confusing the staff at Mildura Cardiology by labeling various items in Welsh, then watching them try to pronounce it!

Naomi said ‘after a year and a half in Mildura, the thing I’ll remember most when husband and I move to Melbourne for the next stage of training will be the friendliness and generosity of everyone here – we have felt welcomed from the start and privileged to be a part of this community’.

Trainer saves collapsed footballers life

The following article was printed in the Sunraysia Daily 17.4.18

 

Trainer saves collapsed footballers life:

 

A DEFIBRILLATOR and the quick thinking of a senior trainer were credited with saving the life of a country footballer on Saturday.

Kerang’s Patrick Featonby is in a stable condition after suffering a heart attack during a Central Murray league reserves clash against Balranald.

He collapsed during the first quarter and was able to be revived with the defibrillator before the ambulance arrived. He was then transported by road to Mildura and then flown to The Alfred hospital.

“We were very thankful both to ours and their senior trainer – without their quick action and the defibrillator, which was key to his survival – we would be having a different conversation this morning.” Kerang president Rob Fisher said yesterday. “They worked on him for about 15 minutes and were able to revive him with the defibrillator before the ambulance arrived.”

Defibrillators have been provided at most country football grounds, including throughout Sunraysia.

The footballer would see a cardiologist today but was in ‘good spirits”, Fisher said.

The reserves match was abandoned and, after discussions between the two coaches, the senior game was also abandoned on Saturday.

Defibrillator Donations

Heart starter a life saver.

By Caitlyn Morgan – compliments of Sunraysia Daily 14.3.18

This week Mallee Accommodation and Support Program (MASP) became the 38th recipient of a defibrillator from

Mildura Cardiology.

It ‘s been a decade since Mildura Cardiology first donated a defibrillator to a community group and in that time two lives

have been saved.

Mildura Cardiology cardiologist Dr Alan Soward said Mildura Cardiology had provided many organisations with

defibrillators, including all Sunraysia Football and Netball League and Millewa Football League clubs.

“There have been tragic deaths in the sporting community with young people dying unexpectedly, so we thought if we

can donate these to the sports clubs, it would make a big difference to the community” Dr Soward said.

“These devices can save lives. If a person has a cardiac arrest they can restore normal heart rhythm”.

“There is also the opportunity to find out what the heart problem is that led to the cardiac arrest, this information can

prevent it from happening again”.

Dr Soward said the devices were fairly simple to use and no training was required, but with each device donated the

staff at Mildura Cardiology had provided instruction. “It all started off by wanting to do something for the community

and defibrillators were only just starting to appear in public locations” Dr Soward said.

“After we donated them to the sporting clubs it was well received, we expanded the donations to other sporting clubs,

schools and not-for-profit organisations”.

“We know that two of the donated defibrillators have been used and were successful both times”.

It was while completing first aid staff training that the need for a defibrillator was raised at MASP.

“We are a large organisation, with multiple campuses, many clients and 111 staff” MASP chief executive Gary

Simpson said.

“The defibrillator will help us respond to any critical emergencies”.

“If you only use it once, then it was worth having one and it gives us peace of mind”.

“At this stage we will be placing the defibrillator in the day activity centre but will look to purchase one or two more in

the future” he said.

“Any organisation with more than 100 staff should consider investing in one”.

Practice manager at Mildura Cardiology Raelene Johns said it was important for those with defibrillators to regularly

check the use-by dates of the pads and batteries.

 

 

 

Dr Melissa FitZerald

 Our latest Cardiology Registrar is Dr Melissa Fitzgerald. She grew up in West Gippsland and now lives in Melbourne.

 She studied Medicine at Melbourne University and is now a doctor at The Alfred Hospital where she is currently a 1st year Royal Australasian College of Physicians Advanced Trainee in Acute and General Medicine.

 Interests include travelling, paddle boarding the Murray River, and eating/drinking with family and friends.  She loves dogs, and enjoys swimming, shopping and spending Tom’s money, reading, Pilates and music.

 She has enjoyed her time at Mildura Cardiology so far and says “it provides excellent learning opportunities in cardiology, particularly with ECG’s and Echo’s. There is a broad base of medicine with interesting diagnoses and lovely patients.”

She added under duress “the Staff are amazingly welcoming and inclusive like you have your own little family here“.

 Things that have impressed her about Mildura include the wineries, Fossey’s Gin Distillery, the people, the weather and the Murray River.

 

 

Cardiac & Respiratory Centre

 

We have entered into an arrangement with Mildura Private Hospital, to lease some rooms in what was formally Geraldton Wing. This has allowed all our echocardiography services to be moved from Mildura Cardiology to the new rooms in Mildura Private Hospital. Yellow painting on the driveway outside the main entrance to Mildura Cardiology guides the way to the new echocardiography area. We also have a reception and waiting room area and to date this has all been functioning very smoothly, allowed us to create some more consulting space in the Mildura Cardiology building.

 

Dr Kaushali Britto

Kaushali is our current Cardiology Registrar on three month rotation from The Alfred.

She was born in Sri Lanka, speaks Sinhalese and has been living in Melbourne for the past four years.

Her intended areas of specialisation are Gastroenterology and General Medicine, and in promoting health awareness and health literacy in socioeconomically underdeveloped nations. Ultimately she would like to focus her medical interest on inflammatory bowel disease.

Her interests include exploring the multicultural cuisines Melbourne has to offer, theatre, travel and playing the violin.

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Medical Student – Eve Malsem

Eve Malsem is our current fifth year medical student with Monash School of Rural Health.

She is working with us for six weeks undertaking a Cardiology elective. Eve was previously in Mildura for 12 months when she was a third year student.

Eve was born in Wangaratta. Her interests include running, travelling, singing and reading fantasy novels. She lived in Germany for six months as an exchange student whilst completing year 10 and speaks fluent German.

Eve is enjoying her rotation at Mildura Cardiology and her long term goal is to work in a rural area, possibly in north-eastern Victoria, but we would be delighted if she was to come back to Mildura!

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