OPERATION OPEN HEART
Since 1990 Operation Open Heart has visited the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. This project is supported by AusAID though the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Pacific Islands Project, the Fiji Ministry of Health and various medical companies along with volunteer team members.
The primary purpose of the project is to:
- assist local doctors with the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease patients
- provide urgently needed cardiac surgery
- provide on-going education for medical, nursing and allied health staff
The team consists of approximately 50 people each year an average of 35 team members present each week. The Colonial War Memorial Hospital established a local cardiac taskforce many years ago to make arrangements for accommodation, meals and transport during the team’s visit.
In addition to this they organise additional medical supplies, and make the necessary plans for transporting the 3000kgs of medical equipment to and from Nadi.
Team doctors will screen patients shortly before the visit in conjunction with local doctors. We have steadily increased the number of surgical cases undertaken within this program, and now run two cardiac theatres running concurrently. Approximately fifty patients will receive surgery during the two week stay.
Education continues to be a vital aspect of the program. Team members will presented lectures that have been attended by up to 100 local medical, physiotherapy and nursing staff. Topics have included sepsis guidelines, surgical instrument care, anaesthetic drugs & anaesthesia, CPR, and Acute Hypotension, Sepsis & Renal Failure.
Thanks to the Operation Open Heart team 19 successful visits have occurred to Fiji, and over 600 patients have received life saving surgery. The trips success is the direct result of the contributions made by volunteer team members, corporate sponsors, the local Fijian community and the Fijian Ministry of Health.
To support the on-going work of Operation Open Heart in Fiji, please visit our HealthCare Outreach Donations page.
May 2010: Operation Open Heart - 50 cardiac cases performed during 2 week stay, mostly paediatric and adolescent. A 6 week old baby is the youngest child ever to receive surgery in Fiji
May 2009: Operation Open Heart - 46 cardiac cases performed on patients ranging between 9 months and 55 years of age
May 2008: Operation Open Heart - 173 pre-operative assessments carried out and 31 cardiac surgical procedures performed