Adam was born with multiple cardiac malformations. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A successful corrective cardiac surgery, and 200 hours of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) delivered in Abu Dhabi, have ensured that one-year-old Adam can look forward to a normal, healthy life.

Born with a series of congenital abnormalities, the Jordanian infant was facing a life of suffering. According to a statement by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), the emirate’s public health provider, Adam was born with multiple cardiac malformations, including abnormal inflows to the heart, the absence of a barrier to separate heart chambers, abnormal intracardiac valves, and the origination of arteries from the wrong chambers.

11-hour surgery

He began seeing specialists at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) when he was just a few months old, and was scheduled for a complex corrective procedure. The surgery for the infant, who was less than a year old at the time, took 11 hours.

3D printing

Before the procedure, the medical team developed a model of Adam’s heart using 3D-printing technology in order to better understand the anatomy of his heart and blood vessels, which then enabled them to plan and simulate the exact steps of the operation.

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The medical team developed a model of Adam’s heart using 3D-printing technology. Image Credit: Supplied

“Paediatric cardiac surgery is one of the surgical super specialities offered at SKMC. With a team of specialised and distinguished surgeons, we were able to successfully perform corrective heart surgery [in Abu Dhabi], keeping newborns and infants, like Adam, close to home,” said Dr. Mariam Al Mazrouei, chief executive officer at SKMC. “Printing a tangible model of Adam’s heart before the surgery was a key factor in the success of the 11-hour procedure, and guaranteed his safety throughout. Adam is one little hero among over 4,500 paediatric cardiac surgery patients operated at SKMC,” added Dr. Laszlo Kiraly, division chief and consultant cardiac surgeon at SKMC, and lead surgeon on Adam’s case.

200 hours of ECMO

Following the surgery, Adam’s heart was connected to an ECMO device, which draws blood from the body to allow artificial oxygenation, with the aim of relieving the heart after long and complicated operations. With the help of the device, that worked for approximately 200 hours, Adam received expert post-surgical care for three months before being reunited with his family.

“We are relieved that SKMC could provide Adam with the care he required. I am grateful to the team who were involved in my son’s treatment, not only for saving his life, but also for their compassion and continuous outreach to check on Adam’s health and recovery,” Adam’s father said.

Between January 2019 until October 2020, Seha facilities have provided world-class health care services to almost 107,000 children.