Fetal and Pediatric Cardiography Workshop participants relate its effectiveness in their countries

(SKNIS): Three of the participants of this week’s fetal and pediatric cardiography workshop expressed pleasure with the training, noting that it will be effectively used in the countries where they operate.

Dr. Gillian Birchwood, a newborn intensive-care specialist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados said that the training was “tremendously useful.”

“As you can imagine, babies are very delicate,” Dr. Birchwood said. “So when you have a serious diagnosis like heart disease, it’s very important to make that diagnosis as quickly as possible in order to improve the chances for the baby’s outcome by starting treatment quickly. So we have a major challenge in many of our Caribbean countries including Barbados in getting echo cardiograms, particularly at odd hours, and of course, nobody can choose when babies are going to be born, so it’s extremely helpful to be able to manage that situation by having the skills to make diagnoses, no matter what time of the day and night.”

Dr. Indira Singh Minott, Pediatrician for Anguilla, said that she is the only pediatrician on her island and in the case of emergencies with newborn congenital heart disease it would be most effective to diagnose the child within 48 hours.

“We learnt how to do the different views (of the heart) and the congenital heart diseases that are emergencies,” Dr. Singh Minott said. “So at least we learnt all the landmarks and how to diagnose them.”

Pediatrician Singh Minott said that once she returns to Anguilla she intends to conduct the procedure on the babies for which she cares.

Dr. Tandamaran Krishnamurthy, another specialist at the Intensive Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados described the course as useful.

“It’s to diagnose the congenital heart disease at an early phase and in a timely manner,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said. “It gives a good outcome for the baby, dealing with medical management or surgical management.” He explained that previously, once the heart condition was not identified, the babies would be discharged from the hospital and then have to return only to be admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.

The two-day workshop was conducted by Dr. Beverly Tsai Goodman, fetal and pediatric cardiologist who said that the training was divided into a fetal cardiac course and a pediatric postnatal echo-cardio graphic course.

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