|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 161-162
Professor Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavathi
KIMS Health, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
|Date of Submission||11-Sep-2020|
|Date of Decision||15-Sep-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||16-Sep-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||09-Feb-2021|
Prof. G Vijayaraghavan
KIMS Health, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 029, Kerala
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Vijayaraghavan G. Professor Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavathi. J Clin Prev Cardiol 2020;9:161-2
Source: This article is already published in Annals of Clinical Cardiology
(Ann Clin Cardiol 2020;2:98-9) and now being republished in Journal of
Clinical and Preventive Cardiology after due permissions for republication
from the journal.
The “God Mother of Cardiology” in India, Prof. S. Padmavathi, passed away on August 29, 2020, at the age of 103. She was suffering from bilateral pneumonia due to COVID-19 infection. She led an active life till her last few days.
She was born in Burma and graduated in medicine from the Rangoon Medical College with “Gold Medal” for the best outgoing student. Due to the war situation, they moved over to Coimbatore in India and then to London to pursue her postgraduate studies. After acquiring fellowships from the Royal College of London and Edinburgh, she spent some time in Sweden and then moved over to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. While at Johns Hopkins and later at Harvard Medical School, Boston, she had the opportunity to be trained under Prof. Helen Taussig and Dr. Paul Dudley White. She returned to Delhi to join as a faculty member at the Lady Hardinge Medical College in 1954. There she established the first cardiac catheterization laboratory in North India. She formed the All India Heart Foundation in 1962 and moved over to Moulana Azad Medical College. She conducted the first epidemiological survey on the incidence of ischemic heart disease in various parts of India, which was published in Circulation in 1962. The then President of India honored her with the “Padma Bhushan” in the same year. She established one of the best cardiology departments at the G.B Pant Hospital and was the secretary general of the 5th World Congress of Cardiology held at New Delhi in 1966. She was the chief administrator of Maulana Azad Medical College, Lok Nayak Hospital, and G.B Pant Hospital at the same time and retired in 1978. She established the National Heart Institute in 1981, where she was working till recently. I still remember the photograph in all national dailies of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurating the institute and her loyal student, Dr. Ravi Kasliwal, standing nearby.
My personal contact with Prof. Padmavathi was when she used to visit The Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, as the DM examiner and on my occasional visit to New Delhi to present papers at national conferences. She was so gentle and nice to the candidates and colleagues that every one admired her achievements. 1960–1980 was an epoch-making period in cardiology in India as every part of India wanted to establish state-of-the-art cardiology centers. Prof. Sujoy B Roy established one of the best departments at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at the behest of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and stressed on the study of hemodynamics. Some of Dr. Padmavathi's contemporaries, like Mrs. Kamala Vythyalingam from Vellore who was trained at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (at the same time as Dr. Padmavathi), established the cardiology department and the first cardiac catheterization laboratory in Vellore in 1958; Prof. K.K Datey established the department at KEM Hospital, Bombay; and Prof. JC Banerjee and his colleagues established the cardiology department in Calcutta. We, at Vellore, always use to admire the two doyens of cardiology namely Dr. Padmavathi and Dr. Kamala Vythyalingam.
Prof. Padmavathi used to attend all the meetings of the Cardiological Society of India, and I have met her in many meetings of the American College of Cardiology too. She kept an active interest in all developments in cardiology.
Dr. Padmavathi, during her career, led many clinical researches and authored more than 300 scientific articles on preventive cardiovascular medicine. She, being an active promoter of government intervention in the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk factors, was very passionate in campaigning against fast food and cigarettes.
She was awarded the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honor bestowed by the Indian government. She trained numerous cardiologists who have established cardiology departments all over India. They comment about her “million-dollar Smile,” which charmed her patients and students alike. We will miss her, but we will always remember her contributions done during a difficult time in the development of medical science in India.