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Overview of Final Medical Mission to Tomsk

 | Published on 4/18/2012
Russian Gift of Life began helping develop the Tomsk Cardiac Center in 2004 by starting a matching gift program with the Russian newspaper Kommersant. A year later, we expanded our work with Heart to Heart International Children’s Medical Alliance to Tomsk. Their medical teams provide demonstration open heart surgery as well as extensive multifaceted training in the diagnosis, interventional and surgical treatment, and post-operative care of children. Russian Gift of Life helped sponsor Heart to Heart’s seventh and final medical mission to Tomsk on March 30 through April 6, 2012. The following report is from our colleagues at Heart to Heart. "We are pleased to share with you that the children's heart program at Tomsk Institute of Cardiology is now widely acknowledged in Russia as one of the most advanced pediatric heart centers in the country. The focus of Heart to Heart's intense educational program on this mission reflects this fact: During five working days on-the-ground in Tomsk, the Heart to Heart team presented 9 lectures to an audience of over 40. From their side, the Tomsk team selected 18 complex, and in some instances quite rare, cases for in-depth group review. Cases included several "Heart to Heart" patients from previous years. During the week, cardiac catheterizations were performed and these cases were also subsequently reviewed in-depth in a conference setting. As lectures and clinical case conferences were in session, Heart to Heart veteran nurses, Brenda Jarvis and Lisa Poppell, led two Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) courses, each consisting of two three-hour lecture sessions followed by break-out sessions for hands-on training in small groups. Over four days, the PALS courses were well attended by the local pediatric cardiac staff of over 40 nurses and doctors. The Tomsk data show a significant increase in the local team's ability to successfully treat children with complex CHD, including surgery on newborns who account for 50% of mortality with unoperated CHD.In 2011, the Tomsk team performed more than 500 procedures, 175 of them on newborns and infants. Yearly patient volume has tripled since 2006, when we began our work in Tomsk. Through this humanitarian collaboration, we have been able to significantly enhance access to modern life-saving care for children born with heart defects in the Siberian Federal District. Mission Accomplished!"

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