Congenital heart disease ( CHD ) is a major cause of childhood illness in our country. Every year about 2,20,000newborns are afflicted with congenital heart disease. Out of this over 33% require immediate surgical intervention. This means around 60000 -90000 infants born with this disease require instant medical help.

If this is not alarming enough, what makes the case worse is that our country does not have adequate number of healthcare facilities to treat infants with congenital heart diseases. When it comes to rural areas a sick baby has to cover long distances to find a proper medical centre. Less than10% of children with CHD eventually have access to proper treatment. Most hospitals lack the proper equipment, skill and expertise to treat infants with CHD.

This is why hospitals like Fortis are a boon for those in dire need of expert medical care. With their successful list of surgeries, they have proven time and again that when it comes to providing quality healthcare, Fortis leads the way.

One such success story is of a month-old baby from Nairobi, Kenya when Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Centre of Excellence in Paediatric Cardiac Care performed a complex heart surgery on him. This little one, Master BassamYusug was the elder twin with a normal birth weight. However, his heart had certain abnormalities. This caused him a much darker complexion and blue palms which were due to lack of adequate oxygen supply to his body. His results showed multiple heart ailments which included VSD ( ventricularseptal defect), PDA ( patent ductusarteriosus) and TGA (transposition of great arteries).

This meant immediate surgical intervention was needed. So his father, travelled continents to seek help from Dr. KS Iyer, who is the Executive Director of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Diseases (FEHI) and also headed the team of doctors who performed surgery on the little one.

The preliminary tests suggested that an open heart surgery and complex repair would be required for Bassam, which meant cutting his heart open and surgery to close the VSD and restore arterial connections to normal and also transfer the small arteries that supply blood to the heart.

It was a turbulent time and an emotional choice for Bassam's father but he chose to put his faith in Dr.Iyer and his expert team of doctors.

The surgery lasted for seven hours after which baby was in critical care in the ICU for a few days and now after full recuperation, he flew back to Kenya in much better health. Yusuf Mohammad, Bassam's father could not hide his joy. He felt indebted to Dr.Iyer for saving his baby's life. He was profoundly grateful to the entire Fortis team for saving his child's life and proving support to the family all the way.

The Pediatric department of FEHI has performed over 13,000 surgeries for children with heart disease and saved lives with its expert team of doctors. The paucity of such facilities has made it a coveted centre for children with heart ailment not only in India but all over the world, like baby Bassam.

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HealthForce Training Center provides high quality training and the latest American Heart Association programs customized for health and non-health care providers. Our mission is to provide a fun and stress free learning experience that can equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to be confident with their medical care and emergency situations.

AHA Disclaimer: The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in BLS, ACLS, and PALS and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the American Heart Association. Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA materials, do not represent income to the Association.

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