Five children hearts repaired

At the Children's Hospital, five heart surgeries of the highest complexity were performed, using artificial blood circulation. The surgeries were performed thanks to the initiative of the Children's Hospital specialists, the support of the Children's Hospital Foundation and contributors.

Last week, thanks to the initiative of the Children's Clinical University Hospital Cardiac Surgery Clinic specialists and the support of the Children's Hospital Foundation and contributors, five open-heart surgeries of the highest complexity were performed at the Children's Hospital, using artificial blood circulation. The surgeries were performed in cooperation with foreign colleagues from Italy, Lithuania and Great Britain, as well as with the participation of BKUS, BKKK, RAK doctors and nurses, and many other colleagues. The surgery results are considered by the experts as very good, and four patients have already gone home because they are no longer in need of hospital care. Such surgeries provide an opportunity for children to significantly improve their health condition and quality of life, but for the Children's Hospital specialists it is a valuable experience and knowledge to be used later in the treatment of their patients!

"Surgery of congenital heart diseases is a very special specialization not only because the child's life depends directly on the skills and experience of the surgeon and all of the team, but also because some heart diseases are so rare that they are diagnosed in Latvia sometimes only once every 10 years. The only way for a patient to have a safe heart surgery is international cooperation of specialists, as on a global scale, such experience about very rare heart diseases has been accumulated, analysed and studied. The Children's Hospital, thanks to the personal initiative of doctors, has been organizing various international cooperation events for cardiac surgery for 10 years, and last week one of them took place. I am truly proud that the Children's Hospital in Latvia was able to help these children. All of us have gained an invaluable experience which will allow us to further develop children's cardiology in Latvia, giving hope for a safer life for children with congenital heart diseases!" Dr. Valts Ozoliņš, Heart Surgeon, Head of the Children's Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Clinic, commented.

Complex surgeries were needed for five patients at the Children's Hospital between the ages of 4 and 17 — Ralfs, Ketija, Marija, Niks and Kristers. Three patients with congenital aortic valve problems had ROSS surgery, when the patient's own lung artery valve was transplanted into the aortic position, while the lung artery valve was replaced by an implant that was frozen transported from Finland. As a result of the surgery, children will no longer have to take medicines on a daily basis and they will be able to live a healthy life, as the aortic valve grows with the child, unlike the mechanical one. The surgery is very important for these patients, because if the aortic valve is not operated, then the consequence may be a sudden death of the child. There were also two patients operated who had a severe, combined cardiac disease, one cardiac camera. The surgery was performed on these patients according to the Fontaine principle, and both children will be able to live in a healthy life as a result of a number of successive surgeries.

"It is increasingly possible to arrange visits by foreign specialists to the Children's Hospital to help our patients with complex health problems. Alternative treatment for these patients is outside Latvia, which is considerably more expensive and also physically and psychologically harder for patients and their relatives. An additional benefit is the opportunity for our specialists to gain new knowledge that will help many children with a similar health problems in the future. We want children in Latvia to have the same treatment opportunities as in other parts of Europe, and it's great that, thanks to the initiative of doctors and peer donations, we can provide it right here — at the Children's Hospital!" said Liene Dambiņa, Head of Children's Hospital Foundation.

The Children's Hospital Foundation provided financial support and paid for the purchase of homographs (pulmonary artery valve donor tissues) for 3 patients in the amount of EUR 11 800 from the Helsinki University Tissue Bank, and covered the travel and living expenses of 2 foreign specialists from the United Kingdom and Lithuania. The total expenses of EUR 12 335.46 were paid from donations received from the company ‘InCREDIT’ charity campaign "Give the Child an Opportunity!"