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Serving People, Improving Health Project: 10 patients from Volyn oblast received artificial heart valves

13 August 2018

In Volyn oblast, the first ten patients with heart valves malfunctions received free of charge the life-saving artificial heart valves.  The first 100 artificial heart valves were purchased and delivered to the Volyn Regional Hospital under the Serving People, Improving Health joint project of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine with the World Bank. By the end of 2018, another 50 devices are to be delivered to the hospital.

The first recipient was a 38-year-old patient with chronic rheumatoid arthritis that affected heart valves, in particular the mitral and aortic valves did not open properly. The valve replacement surgery was necessary, as the man would die without it. The surgery was performed free of charge and the patient paid only for certain medical supplies (sutures, needles, catheters, tubes, cold solution).

"The patient had known for a long time that he needed the surgery, but he was afraid, hesitated. And when he heard that we had received the new valves, he did decide to have the surgery. We had to perform the surgery immediately – there was a serious threat to the man’s life. In total, about 100 surgeries with the heart being stopped have already been performed at our hospital this year," noted Volodymyr Petsentii, head of the Cardiac Surgery Department of the Volyn Regional Clinical Hospital.

The valve replacement surgery was about 6 hours. During the procedure, the patient's heart was stopped temporarily, and the patient was placed on cardiopulmonary bypass. The patient spent two weeks in the hospital after the surgery. The normal recovery period after this surgery is three months. The artificial heart valves are designed to permanently replace the failing human ones.

In total, within the framework of the ‘Improving medical care to patients with the circulatory system diseases in the Volyn region’ subproject, which is being implemented with the support of the World Bank and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 100 artificial heart valves (manufactured in the USA) worth about UAH 27,000 each and 250 oxygenators worth about UAH 13,500 each have been purchased and delivered to the Volyn Regional Clinical Hospital. Another 50 artificial heart valves and 250 oxygenators are to be delivered to the hospital within the next nine months.

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