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New cardiac center boosts care for children
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 13 - 04 - 2008

A new pediatric cardiac surgery unit will be opened early 2009 at Prince Salman Cardiac Center in Riyadh.
Built at a cost of around SR70 million, the unit is meant to address growing rates of congenital heart disorders among Saudi children.
Dr. Moustapha Yousuf, Director of the Prince Salman Cardiac Center, made the announcement after Dr. Obaid S. Obaid, Deputy to the Minister of Health for Planning and Development, inaugurated the 2nd International Conference on Advanced Cardiac Imaging at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh on Saturday.
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Mazrou, Undersecretary and Acting CEO of Medical Affairs at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Samih Lawand, Cardiology Consultant and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the conference, and a number of medical experts and technicians were also present.
Some 75 Saudi and international cardiac experts will discuss the latest advances in cardiac imaging technology at the three-day conference.
The conference will be of special significance to cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, as it acquaints them with the latest cardiac imaging techniques that would help them evaluate heart problems, particularly among young Saudis born with cardiac defects who underwent corrective surgery at an early age.
The conference will also address the health concerns of a growing number of coronary heart disease cases in the Saudi population, including children.
Yousuf said the new Pediatric Cardiac Unit is uniquely designed, with two cardiac operation rooms for neonate and young children with congenital heart diseases.
The center will also have a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory, a facility not many medical institutions have in the Kingdom, he said.
The Pediatric Cardiac Center is part of an extension program of the Prince Salman Cardiac Center, which will have a 16-bed neonatal intensive care unit, 25-bed general wards and other emergency services, said Yousuf.
“Opening of Pediatric Cardiac Unit shows the keenness of the Kingdom's expansion program for medical institutions, which have been providing excellent healthcare services to the Saudi population, including neonate and young children, who are in urgent need of such treatment,” he said.
Dr. Lawand said the survival rate of children born with complex congenital heart defects has reached at least 50 percent, thanks to the treatment offered by sophisticated medical institutions such as the Pediatric Cardiac Unit, which will be up and running by early next year.
“In the past, due to the unavailability of cardiac surgical facilities, most children with complex congenital heart defects in the Kingdom died,” he said.
The Kingdom, with its state-of-the-art medical facilities, is providing corrective surgery to Saudi children born with complex congenital heart defects, he said, adding that children born in 1980s are today's grown-up adults, who underwent corrective surgery for their congenital defective hearts, and might need proper follow-up and residual corrective surgery.
Saudi children who had implanted devices in their childhood have not only better chances of survival, but also lead normal adult lives after undergoing corrective heart surgeries, he said.
Dr. Yousuf underscored the success of the Prince Salman Cardiac Center by highlighting the number of surgeries conducted. He said the Center has conducted 700 cardiac surgeries, 3,000 cardiac catheterization procedures and 1,000 cardio-angioplasties since its establishment just two and half years ago. __

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