OPERATION OPEN HEART
Operation Open Heart works within two hospitals in Yangon, Myanmar – Yangon General Hospital and Defense Services General Hospital.
Our volunteers come from all over Australia and consist of intensive and coronary care, operating theatre and cardiac catheterisation laboratory nurses, adult and paediatric cardiac surgeons, anaesthetists, clinical perfusionists, interventional cardiologists, physiotherapists, pathology and biomedical technicians.
The team and the staff from both hospitals were extremely committed to ensuring these programs would be successful.
The primary purpose of this program is to continue the teaching and develop sustainable and independent cardiac services in the country. The team will assist and teach and complete approximately 35 surgical cases each year. Most recently it is rewarding to note and observe major improvements in operating room practices and post-operative ICU management.
It is obvious from the enthusiasm demonstrated and changes in place that the doctors and nurses in Myanmar have made a determined commitment to improving the cardiac service to enable them to provide and maintain a successful cardiac program.
Each year through the generous support of some of our suppliers we have been able to donate various consumable and capital equipment for the program in Myanmar.
Myanmar is the only country where Operation Open Heart is also involved in interventional cardiology.
Despite difficulties in communication all team members were extremely committed to making the most of every educational opportunity to share their skills and knowledge within the clinical environment. Formal education sessions were also organised for the medical and nursing staff in both organisations.
To support the on-going work of Operation Open Heart in Myanmar, please visit our HealthCare Outreach Donations page.
Nu is a 40 year old widow. She has no relatives other than her young niece who depends on Nu. Nu had virtually no money and was brought to the hospital in Yangon, Myanmar with severe angina. She could not afford to have any investigation or treatment other than some basic medication. The Operation Open Heart team undertook a coronary angiogram to investigate her heart complaint and found a severe blockage in her left main coronary artery. Untreated she would have died from a major heart attack within a short period of time. Using donated equipment the team were able to insert a coronary stent to unblock the coronary artery. Although high risk, the procedure was a success and she has a good long-term outlook. When the team returns in 2010 they will monitor Nu’s health and ensure she is recovering well.
What is the best part about a HealthCare Outreach trip?
The satisfaction of working with a dedicated team for the betterment of those in need, and it is also professionally satisfying. Trips are hard work and one often returns very tired, but feeling surprisingly refreshed.
Dr Bevan Hokin
February 2011: Operation Open Heart - 21 cardiac surgical cases, 58 cardiac catheterisations, 262 echocardiographs, 180 in attendance of life support workshops
February 2010: Operation Open Heart - 28 cardiac cases performed during the 10 day stay (9 adult & 19 paediatric), & 100 cardiac echocardiographs performed by the cardiologists and sonographers
February & November 2009: Operation Open Heart - 35 surgeries (21 paediatric & 14 adults) & 200 echocardiograph procedures completed