Facilitated the training of three Jamaican nurse educators who will be responsible for the ongoing training and development of nurses in pediatric cardiac care; this education will prepare them to administer advanced pre and post operative care to cardiac patients at the Bustamante Hospital for Children
Our organization continues to provide mentoring and guidance to the healthcare professionals in that facility with the goal of strengthening their knowledge base on pediatric cardiac care. A significant hallmark of this mission was the donation of much supplies, medications and devices such as two pacemakers and a heart valve which were not readily available or affordable to medically underserved children who were the recipients of these lifesaving devices.
Through partnership with governmental and non-governmental entities, a new cardiac center of excellence is under construction at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, in Kingston Jamaica. The Caribbean Heart Menders is one of the stakeholders in this project which is in furtherance of our goal to establish centers of excellence for the delivery of pediatric cardiac care in the countries we serve.
Based on a request from health authorities for possible medical missions to Costa Rica, a team of three Caribbean Heart Menders Association members conducted a site evaluation at a local hospital in that country during the month of August.
The phenomenal improvements realized in this program attests to the foundation that was laid by the Caribbean Heart Menders Association and other international partners who worked with CEDIMAT in establishing a framework for the delivery of a sustainable program for providing medical and surgical cardiac interventions to children with congenital heart diseases. Our organization continues to work with the healthcare professionals in this country who have achieved major successes in increasing the numbers of patients treated each year.
June 26 - July 17: A team of three medical professionals from the Caribbean Heart Menders partnered with local health professionals to deliver cardiac surgical services within this country.
Emphasis in 2012 continued to be on interventions for sustainability through strengthening of pediatric critical care education and working with national and international organizations to create a center of excellence for pediatric cardiac care in that country.
As a recognized stakeholder in this initiative, the Caribbean Heart Menders collaborated with the Chain of Hope in planning and delivery of a pediatric critical care nursing education program to nurses at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. In September eight nurses were certified in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation by our educator. Additionally, the Caribbean Heart Menders committed to support financing for three Jamaican nurse educators to continue this essential program in that country.
June 26th – July 17th
A team of 3 medical professionals participated in the annual cardiac surgical mission to CEDIMAT hospital in the Dominican Republic.
The significant reduction in overseas health professionals is consistent with the goal of creating a center of excellence in that country. Support of CHMA is still required as they move toward attaining this state.
Caribbean Heart Menders Association embarked on its second medical mission to Panama. Team comprised 16 healthcare professionals engaged with local healthcare professionals in performing cardiac surgeries, diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization, EP studies and ablations.
CHMA facilitated a medical mission to the Bustamante Hospital for Children February 23, 2010 through March 5, 2010. Our Second Annual Larry King-CHMA-CHIF-Bustamante Teaching Program in Pediatric Cardiac Disease course was also held where we had over 125 attendees from across the Island and neighboring Island.
During that mission 18 children underwent cardiovascular surgery of moderate to complex lesions. One child had a pacemaker implantation and in addition 13 children underwent cardiac catheterization and/or electrophysiology study and three children underwent radiofrequency ablation for a total of 35 interventions.
CHMA facilitated its seventh medical mission to CEDIMAT hospital in the Dominican Republic June 26th to July 3rd 2010. Two surgeries were performed daily for a total of eight cases Monday to Thursday.
These were very medically complex cases and all patients did very well. In addition a total of 17 additional patients were evaluated for future surgeries. During the mission all surgeries were done by the local surgeon with the CHMA surgeon only serving as an assistant. All the nursing post-operative care was done by the local nurses. There were only a total of 5 medical volunteers for this mission which highlights the progress of the medical training and the success of the program.
Caribbean Heart Menders Association embarked on its inaugural medical mission to Panama August 7, 2010 through August 15, 2010. This mission was extremely successful in meeting its goals of providing congenital heart surgery and other non-surgical interventions by engaging and teaching the local physician, nurses and other medical professionals in performing and caring for children undergoing heart surgery.
The mission consisted of cardiac surgeries, diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization, EP studies and ablations. There were a total of 39 cases done (11 cardiac surgeries, 16 Cardiac catheterization/interventions, 12 EP/ablations) by 19 medical volunteers working along with the local medical professionals. An additional 13 patients underwent medical evaluation for future interventions.
In total there were 110 patients who received direct services during our international medical missions. A total of 38 patients received life-saving cardiac surgery in three countries. An additional 44 patients received non-surgical life saving cardiac interventions.
In additional 30 patients received cardiac evaluations for futures interventions.
The lesions included Tetralogy of Fallot with atrioventricular septal defect combination, Tetralogy of Fallot, atrioventricular septal defect, ventricular septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, and femoral arterio-venous fistula. In addition, 4 children underwent Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization & Angiography, 4 children underwent Electrophysiology Studies (EPS). The EPS studies were the first in the history of the nation! An accomplishment indeed!
In keeping with our philosophy of teaching, there was one full day teaching course with 164 attendees (2/3 nurses and 1/3 physicians). The smiles on the faces of the parents and children were heartwarming and rewarding. What a privilege to be part of such an incredible journey! See picture in the photo gallery.
Over the years, the size of our teams has decreased significantly as the local team assumed more responsibility for the cases. This year our team provided only support as the local team took control of their program and provided the care.
We are so blessed to be able to share this amazing experience with these families. Jhon’s story is particularly heartwarming. He is a 3 year old who’s only desire was to play with his friends and play with his toys but he was unable to do this because with just minimal activity, he turned blue and sometimes became unconscious. His fingers and lips were always blue.
However with the gift of heart surgery, he is now able to play with his friends and his toys. He could not stop looking at his pink fingers after surgery!—Meet Jhon…
The team was comprised of fifteen health care volunteers comprising of one heart surgeon, one cardiologist, one intensivist, one cardiologist, one anesthesiologist, two operating room nurses, six critical care nurses, two perfusionists, and one mission coordinators from the Congenital Heart Institute of Florida; two medical coordinators from the Caribbean Heart Menders Association.
The purpose of this mission was to perform corrective open-heart surgeries for children with congenital heart disease. The surgeries included moderately complex congenital heart disease, from ventricular septal defects to Tetralogy of Fallot repairs. Seven patients were successful repaired and are now living healthy lives. An additional 13 patients were evaluated and will be operated on during the next mission.
In addition to performing successful surgeries, we donated a heart lung machine which is a necessary piece of equipment for performing open-heart surgery. The heart-lung machine or bypass machine as it is sometimes referred provides oxygen and blood to the body while the surgeon works on the heart. This translates to lives saved as a result of selfless actions from the CHMA medical team.
We are proud of the achievements of the local medical professionals and this center as it now performs a significant numbers of surgeries independently. They are well on their way to becoming an independent center of excellence.