In June 2016, for the first time, a team of San Camillo Hospital in Rome and the Ayder University Hospital Makalle performed 10 cath lab interventions of mitral and pulmonary valvuloplasty.
Ten young Ethiopian patients with severe mitral or pulmonary stenosis have undergone the procedure. The outcome was successful in eight patients and there was no post-operative complications.
The working team consisted of: Rosario Fiorilli MD (specialist in interventional cardiology), Andrea Madeo MD (cardiologist echocardiographer), Dr Abraha Hailu MD, Elizabeth Zachara MD (cardiologist), Barbara Valeri (IP interventional cardiology) Ascanio Giannini (head nurse – cardiac unit).
The importance of these interventions lies in the fact that:
- Those techniques do not require an open heart surgical intervention;
- The success story allows the possibility to extend the same to many other patients in need;
- Despite the lack of medical support (lack of anaesthesiologists) and instrumental devices (lack of temporary pacemakers) the outcome was successful in eight patients out of ten;
- In the absence of open heart interventions currently not possible in this region of Ethiopia, these procedures allow to “stretch” the natural history of the heart disease and to have more time to intervene surgically.