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Special unit to be set up in Dubai Hospital for children with heart defects

At Dubai Hospital, soon a special unit will be set up to deal with heart defects of children, and the facilities will be available to patients from the Northern Emirates. “Children with holes in the heart are common in the region,” said Dr Obaid Al Jasem, head of cardiothoracic surgery at the Hospital. 2-6-2010-5

This week a team of top surgeons from Italy will be performing heart procedures on 14 children with congenital heart disease. The doctors here will be trained in the delicate procedures and the unit should be operational soon, according to the doctor.

Dr Alexandro Frigiola, professor of cardiac surgery from San Donoto Hospital in Milan, four million children around the world are on the waiting list for such operations noted that “One million children are born every year with congenital heart disease,” Yesterday he performed an operation called Tetrology of Fallot, named after a French physician. The operation involved correcting a combination of four defects in a two year-old child’s heart. One of the abnormalities was pumping oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle to mix with oxygen rich blood from left ventricle. “This is a huge problem here, bigger than what it is in Europe and the US. We are developing a paediatric unit here in Dubai that will be an international reference point where children from countries as India, Bangladesh and Somalia can be treated.” said the surgeon. The team also performed interventions as angiography on two other children and closed a hole in the heart in another one. Dr Abdullah Raweh, cardiac surgeon with the team, said the UAE Red Crescent had sponsored 27 missions to countries in the Arab World, Africa and South America to perform similar operations on children.

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