British doctors involved in a pediatric CSR project in Sibiu
Several British and Romanian entities have teamed up in a sustainable children’s health project, that aims to reduce the mortality rate of both pediatric pathology and cardiovascular diseases. According to new data published by the local press, Romania loses 1000 children with congenital heart problems every year. Full data on the following website: www.bolicardiovasculare.ro.
The British institutions actively involved in the local business environment have decided to join the project and support the cause by contributing important resources and by raising awareness. The British Embassy and the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce work closely with the project team composed mainly of health care specialists and doctors.
The University of Bristol supports the project by sending specialists every few months to Romania. Coordinated by dr. Șerban Stoica and dr. Rob Martin, they train the local team for congenital heart procedures so as to insure the know-how skills transfer and to enhance the success rate of these special medical interventions. Specialists from other UK hospitals such as Harefield are also involved in the program with the help of a British Charity Foundation, Healing Little Hearts (www.healinglittlehearts.org.uk).
With a cost of between Euro 5,000 to Euro 15,000 per surgery depending on the complexity of the operation and inclusive of pre and post care costs, the Polisano Foundation (www.fundatiapolisano.ro) provides voluntary support and raises funds to cover all the items needed during surgeries.
The Cardiovascular Centre which is supported by this British initiative, opened in 2014, as a joint initiative between the European Hospital Polisano and the University “Lucian Blaga” from Sibiu. Every year around 300 open heart surgeries and 1100 adult interventional cardiology procedures are now performed in the cardiovascular centre and so Romanian specialists have the skills to quickly treat pediatric cardiac cases with technical support from their British colleagues. The vision is to quickly help these reputed cardiovascular specialists to become experts also in pediatric cardiac care and to have in Sibiu a Cardiovascular Center of excellence, for both pediatric and adult patients.
Along with the University of Sibiu, which is also one of the main supporters of the project, the local public Pediatric Hospital of Sibiu is also positively and directly impacted by the team work – they send doctors and nurses for training and patients for surgery to complement the team co-ordinated by the European Hospital Polisano. The Romanian Society of Endovascular Surgery and TCT also promotes the development of heart surgery in Romania and support this important initiative.
So far, the British-Romanian team performed 60 open heart procedures in 2017, on children, on three occasions. All surgeries were performed in the Cardiovascular Centre. All the children are doing fine, including the youngest patient who was 2 months old at the time of the intervention. Many of the procedures were performed for the correction of very complex congenital diseases like Fallot Tetralogy and ALCAPA syndrome.
The objective for 2018 is to treat circa 60 children open heart surgeries.