Saturday, April 5, 2008

First Patient Gives Thumbs Up After Surgery

Above, nurse Clementine Sezerano and patient Celestin smile for the camera.

The first patient came out of surgery earlier today and later flashed the thumbs up sign to his nurses. 25-year-old Celestin is doing well and resting comfortably after this morning’s atrial septal defect (ASD) repair.

ASD, a hole in the septum between the heart’s two upper chambers, is a congenital heart disorder, or one that is present at the time of birth. If ASD isn’t repaired, it can ultimately lead to heart failure.

Celestin was in good hands during surgery.

“ASD repair is one of the most common congenital heart procedures,” said Jim Rawn, MD, an intensivist at BWH. “And at the Brigham, it’s the most common congenital heart procedure we do.”

King Faisal nurses Clementine Sezerano and Etienne Nsereko and Team Heart’s ICU nurses are caring for Celestin this evening.

Above from left, nurses Etienne Nsereko, Kevin McWha, Clementine Sezerano and Sue Hall care for Celestin.

Surgery Begins

Final preparations are underway for the procedure Saturday morning.

At left, Respiratory Therapist Felix Gregorian helps prepare the ICU, where the first patient will receive care following surgery.

Meeting Our King Faisal Colleagues

Above from left: BWH's Prem Shekar, Leslie Sabatino and Jim Rawn meet King Faisal Chief Pharmacist Juliet Mbabaizi.

On the evening before the first surgery, the staff at King Faisal warmly welcomed Team Heart to the hospital at an informal reception.

“We are looking forward to having our people work side by side with you,” John Stevens, director general of King Faisal Hospital, said as physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, surgical technologists and others from both hospitals mingled and became acquainted. “This is the first time. Let’s make it happen over and over again.”

Chip Bolman, MD, chief of Cardiac Surgery at BWH, told King Faisal staff how honored Team Heart is to be involved in this collaboration. “It’s a privilege for us to come here and help you to build a cardiac surgical program,” he said. “Thank you for allowing us to be here.”

Heart Failure in Rwanda

Heart failure leaves thousands of young Rwandans gasping for breath and slowly suffocating for years on the brink of death with little access to the life-saving surgery they desperately need.
The heart failure patients Team Heart will operate on beginning this weekend were screened and identified by cardiologist Gene Buhkman, MD, of Partners In Health (PIH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who works six months of the year in Rwanda treating patients. PIH first became involved in Rwanda in 2005, working with the support of the government to improve the country’s rural health systems. “We found that a huge portion of the patients we saw in the hospitals and clinics had heart failure,” Bukhman said. “The causes of the disease here are very different than in Boston and the rest of the U.S., where most heart failure patients are elderly.” Read the complete article.
Above, Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi, left, and Dr. Gene Bukhman at King Faisal Hospital