(ZIZ News) — Babies and infants born with congenital heart conditions have a better chance of survival thanks to the free training provided by Dr. Tsai Goodman, fatal and paediatric cardiologist, who began a workshop in the Federation on Monday.
Local antenatal and paediatric doctors along with health workers from across the region participated in a Foetal and Paediatric Cardiology Workshop that strengthens detection and care of babies with heart ailments.
Paediatrician Dr. Ian Jacobs said the training gives paediatricians the ability to better assist children with heart conditions.
“Often in small islands we can’t retain the services of a paediatric cardiologist and to make diagnosis of what is going on in children, sometimes you only can do it by having an ultrasound or echocardiogram of the heart and It’s real important for adult cardiologists who see kids here with heart conditions and paediatricians to develop these skills, in case we do have a child who is ill, in order to send the information to someone who can advise us how to manage this child,” he said.
Foetal and paediatric cardiologist Dr. Beverly Tsai Goodman spoke about the aim of the workshop.
“The main aim really is to teach the participants a little bit about congenital heart disease, that is heart conditions you are born with not the acquired one you get normally as an adult and to obtain some skill that they can use Echo which is ultrasound to make the diagnosis of simple but also serious heart conditions either before they are born—antenatal—or postnatal, after birth where you can scan babies once they are born and make the diagnosis and hopefully then guide…your surgery potentially according to what you find,” he said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin said the training is of significant importance to paediatric health in the federation, stating , “We have about 650 newborns in the federation every year and from time to time we come across a newborn who has a cardiac defect or a birth defect and while we can hear with our stethoscope and probably feel with our fingers, it is important to get the latest technology onboard and that is cardiac ultrasound which has been around for several decades but for us, since we do not have a paediatric cardiologist, we don’t have that facility here. So the next best thing is to train paediatricians and radiology technicians.”
The participants also consisted of doctors from Barbados, Anguilla and Antigua.
Dr. Goodman volunteered her time, the Marriott Resort provided free accommodation, several restaurants offered free meals and there was support from both the paediatric assistance league of St. Kitts (PALS) as well as the World Paediatric Project.