Thai-Lao project conducts heart surgeries on 30 children

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

A collaborative medical project between Thailand and Laos has successfully conducted heart surgeries on 30 children, illustrating a significant step towards combating heart-related diseases in young individuals.

This initiative, aptly named Saving Young’s Heart Crossing Mekong River, is a combined effort involving the Thai Red Cross, Chulalongkorn Hospital, Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Foundation, the Thai Embassy to Laos, Laos’ Public Health Ministry, and Mahosot Centre Hospital.

Chulalongkorn Hospital’s director, Chanchai Sittipunt, revealed that the project was launched last year. It came to fruition after the hospital’s paediatric intensive-care staff discovered that Mahosot Centre Hospital in Laos, the sole hospital in the country performing heart surgeries, was in dire need of more specialists to tackle heart disease in children.

The project’s core objective is to facilitate the transfer of young Laotian patients diagnosed with heart disease to Thai hospitals, where they can receive complimentary medical treatment. In addition to this, Chulalongkorn Hospital and Chulalongkorn University’s School of Global Health are offering medical coaching assistance and scholarships for paediatric intensive care training.

This is aimed at enhancing Laos’ ability to independently conduct paediatric heart surgeries within five years.

The initiative, which started in May last year, began with the examination of 92 cases involving young patients, aged between three months and 12 years, who were suffering from congenital heart disease. Some 37 out of 92 patients were identified as requiring immediate surgery in Thailand, according to Pirapat Mokarapong, the secretary-general of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Foundation.

To date, 29 children and infants have been transferred to Bangkok for successful operations. Two severe cases were dealt with at Chulalongkorn Hospital, while Kasemrad Hospital handled the remaining 27 cases.

One of the most recent successes was the case of a 9 month old boy with an alternating coronary artery and cyanosis due to heart failure. The boy, who weighed just 3 kilogrammes, was transferred to Bangkok for an urgent operation at Chulalongkorn Hospital three months ago, reported Bangkok Post.

The surgery was successful and the now one year old boy returned to his home in Luang Phrabang on April 11, accompanied by a medical team from Chulalongkorn Hospital. His parents expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the project and Thailand for granting their son a new lease on life.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles