One third of Peru’s 32 million inhabitants live in the capital city, Lima, the second largest city in the Americas. Each year in Peru, 6,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects (CHD); half of them will need surgery within the first three years of life if they are to survive. Lima is the only city in Peru where open heart surgery is available for children.
Leaders in Heart Care - INCOR, Lima
INCOR’s high-volume center provides the most advanced heart care available in Peru. We are teaming up with INCOR specialists to work towards world-class care for all their patients as they increase patient volume and expand training for doctors at less establish centers both in Lima and the provinces.
The Challenge of Leading
As doctors at the leading cardiac institution in Peru, INCOR specialists see the country’s sickest babies and children each and every day. Heart to Heart is working to simultaneously enhance their capabilities to treat these very sick patients and also help the country to develop an efficient nationwide referral system.
Our collaborations emphasize building the capacity of each subteam - cardiology, surgery, and post-operative intensive care. Each subteam needs to perform at a very high level in order for the whole team to reach world-class standards. (Shown here: Heart to Heart specialists with new Peruvian colleagues at INCOR, Lima.)
Accurately Diagnosing All Heart Patients
To expand care nationwide, cardiologists in underserved regions must be able to provide timely, accurate diagnoses as well as timely referrals to get their patients to surgery in time to be saved. Here, Dr. Frank Cetta examines a child with severe heart disease to assess heart function post-operatively as new colleagues look on.
Surgery to repair Congenital Heart Defects
Saving children born with CHD involves surgically repairing the heart. For a cardiac surgical team to be able to save any child born with CHD, they must learn the intricacies of many operations. Leading U.S. heart surgeon Kirk Kanter provided mentoring to our new colleagues, who are eager to master pediatric cardiac surgery, particularly on newborns - the gold standard in our field.
Newer, Less Invasive Type of Heart Repair
In some cases, instead of open heart surgery, cardiologists can repair the heart by threading a catheter through the patient’s femoral artery to reach and modify the heart less invasively. Building on their current knowledge base, INCOR cardiologists are learning advanced procedures to provide more catheter-based treatment options for their patients.
Providing Intensive Care for Peru's Sickest Babies
ICH Chief Dr. Ruben Ortiz (left) and his vibrant young team of more than 50 ICU physicians and nurses immediately recruited us into their team-wide effort to advance post-operative care, particularly for newborns. Their enthusiasm to learn led to rich open discussions with intensive care specialists, JoAnne Natale (center) to assess systems and protocols in their very busy unit.
Access to Heart Care for Everyone
Heart to Heart provides advanced teaching and training in every aspect of cardiac care to treat both adults and children with heart disease. Our vision is that everyone around the world will have access to life-saving heart care - particularly babies and children born with life-threatening heart defects.