Sharjah: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched a Paediatric Open-Heart Surgery service at Al Qassimi Hospital for Women and Children in Sharjah.

The service, which will meet the growing need for paediatric heart surgery, will be provided by a specialised team of experts hand-picked from an elite group of doctors and consultants with experience in dealing with complex cases.

The team includes a consultant cardiologist, cardiologist, anaesthesiologist, intensive care consultant, perfusionist and 10 nursing staff specialised in paediatric open-heart surgery in both the operation room and intensive care unit.

The new service covers all paediatric open-heart operations such as atrial septal defect, complex operations, heart defects, as well as single ventricle defects and left ventricular reconstruction, which require immediate surgery after the birth of the foetus.

Dr Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of Hospitals Administration, MoHAP, stressed that the ministry is always keen to improve the health and safety of patients in line with its strategy aiming to provide innovative, word-class, quality and comprehensive services that meet the quality standards and achieve excellence at the ministry’s hospitals.

“We aim to offer UAE citizens and residents the best services in accordance with the best international practices to improve the quality of health services and patient safety. The ministry is doing its utmost to provide unparalleled services in the field of open heart surgery and aims to cover all surgical cases, whether for citizens or residents,” she underlined.

Dr Safia Al Khaja, Director General of Al Qassimi Hospital for Women and Children, reiterated that the hospital’s new service will underpin the level of services the ministry is offering to Sharjah and Northern Emirates residents, adding that paediatric open-heart surgery service was first made available in January 2019, through the Visiting Consultant Programme.

30 open-heart surgeries

Dr Ahmad Al Kamali, Director of the Cardiology Centre at the hospital, said that the department has so far conducted more than 30 successful open-heart surgeries for children.

Al Kamali noted that the medical staff is following the latest international standards applied in the field of paediatric open-heart surgery, and is not only using modern surgical techniques, but also focusing on patient condition outside the operation room.

“We are carefully following up on all cases to ensure patients will not need artificial respirators immediately after surgery, which provides a shorter stay at the intensive care unit and reduce the treatment costs. Thanks to this service, relatives of the patient can visit and interact with the child after the surgery at the ICU, which will positively reflect on the child and the family,” Al Kamali said.

The paediatric open-heart surgery team is always on standby to receive and deal with emergency cases of newborns, which require quick intervention.