The BabyHeart team recently returned from the first of three trips to Georgetown, Guyana this year with another successful mission. During this latest mission, 15 children received life-saving surgeries, and 5 children received proper diagnosis of their condition with a heart catheterization. Just a few days after the team’s departure, all children had been discharged home and are doing well.
Saving Lives with Volunteers from Around the World
We had 22 volunteers unite from the United States, Canada, Chile and Italy to contribute to the successes of this trip. Because of all their hard work, made possible by your generous donations, we have now accomplished 57 surgeries, 19 heart caths and have maintained a 0% mortality rate. This will go far in helping to decrease Guyana’s current infant mortality rate (34 out of 1,000 live births), knowing that Congenital Heart Defects are the most common severe birth defect worldwide. In addition to the life-saving surgeries, we were also able to supply Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) with key surgical supplies for other surgical specialties including general surgery, neurosurgery, and the ENT team.
ICHF Works Towards Establishing a Permanent Pediatric ICU
Prior to ICHF’s presence in Guyana, cardiac surgery had never been performed in children, nor was there a Pediatric ICU to care for critically ill patients. Through your support, we have been able to donate the necessary equipment to open the first Pediatric ICU, and we continue the development of the unit through ongoing training of the local team. The education not only focuses on postoperative cardiac care but how to care for all critical patients requiring ICU level care.
Most recently, we went through 2 days of pre-trip training with the ICU Nurses, Pediatricians and Pediatric Residents in such areas as Patient Assessment, Basic EKG Recognition, Common ICU Medications, and Immediate Post-Op Care of the cardiac surgical patient. Each session had over 20 participants. The Pediatric Residents also completed 168 hours of critical care training during their rotation with our team.
As we continue our mission in Guyana and look forward to new opportunities this year, we hope to expand programs like this one and work towards helping Guyana build a sustainable and independent program, but we can’t do it without you. If you’d like to help us save more children with congenital heart defects, please consider making a donation today!