• 1/20/2021

    Heart Hospital Performs More Than 500 Cardiac Surgical Procedures in 2020 Amid the
    COVID-19 Pandemic

    Cardiovascular perfusionists play a vital role in every procedure

    Doha, 20 January 2021: Heart Hospital, a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), safely performed 527 cardiac surgical procedures in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2012, surgical teams at the hospital have performed more than 3,000 procedures.

    HMC’s Heart Hospital is a specialist tertiary hospital committed to delivering high quality care in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery for the adult population of Qatar. This care couldn’t be provided without the assistance of highly trained and certified perfusionists.

    A team of highly trained professionals, perfusionists, are key members of the surgical team at the Heart Hospital and play a vital role providing support and critical care during any procedure where a patient’s circulatory or respiratory system needs to be supported or replaced.

    Cardiovascular perfusionists are healthcare professionals responsible for maintaining blood circulation, homeostasis and oxygenation to tissues, and to ensure the adequate monitoring of vital signs during open heart operations and other types of treatment requiring artificial heart-lung support, (cardiopulmonary bypass).

    While consultants carry out a wide range of cardiac procedures including elective and emergency cardiac procedures or emergency resuscitation in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, the perfusionist supports the patient during this critical time. Perfusionists are a dedicated team, dealing with state-of-the-art equipment and pride themselves for being active members and an integral part of the professional perfusion community.

    Chief Clinical Perfusionist and Mechanical Circulatory Support lead at the Heart Hospital Perfusion Service, Ms. Abeer Al Jaja noted: “At HMC’s Heart Hospital we have nine clinical perfusionists who play a significant role in controlling mechanical cardiac assist devices in patients with end-stage heart failure and in running extracorporeal circulation in patients requiring this support for other interventions, such as lung transplantation, organ perfusion or oncological treatments. They are the main allied healthcare professional to run the cell saver blood salvage machines that help reduce and avoid blood transfusion during surgery. They also ‘run’ the Intra-Aortic balloon pump counter pulsation devices that support the very sick heart whether pre, during or post cardiac surgery”.

    Ms. Jaja stressed on the significant role of the perfusionists within the team, she explained: “The perfusionists are vital members of the cardiac surgical team due to the increased sophistication of technical interventions requiring assisted circulation. During the early development of perfusion technology, specialized life support equipment was developed and operated by physicians and scientists interested in extracorporeal circulation. Gradually, the operation and maintenance of these devices has been assigned to the Clinical Perfusionist, who provides direct patient care, accountable to the surgeon and physicians.”

    Even though the perfusionists are not very well known, the cardiovascular perfusion team are present, and their role is vital for all cardiac cases. They cover all

    other HMC facilities including Hamad General Hospital, the Cuban Hospital, Hazm Mubeireek General Hospital, Al Wakra and Al Khor hospitals for ECMO services. They regularly evaluate the latest perfusion equipment and disposables to ensure their care is cutting edge. Their efforts, along with those of the surgeons, cardiologists, and the anesthesiologists are focused on one goal which is providing the best quality care with the best possible outcome for every patient they treat, concluded Ms. Jaja.