Tawam Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine, is the first hospital in the UAE to introduce a pioneering therapy to its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The technology, known as Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA), is a new mode of assisted mechanical ventilation that enables the brain of the patient, in this case a premature baby, to control the mechanical ventilator.
Mr. Gregory Schaffer, CEO, Tawam Hospital said, "Tawam Hospital is setting the standard of excellence in the delivery of exceptional patient care, patient safety and a positive overall patient experience. We are committed to providing quality healthcare with special emphasis on the 'personal touch' -responding to the needs of the multi-cultural communities and people we serve. We are very proud to continue to be a leader in the introduction of innovative methodologies and systems for the delivery of high quality healthcare in the UAE and the region."
NAVA technology uses electrical diaphragmatic activity (EDA) to adjust ventilator support according to a patient's personal needs. The mechanical ventilator senses the electrical signal transmitted from the brain to the diaphragm; the muscle below the lungs vital for breathing. The synchrony between the patient and ventilator helps minimize patient discomfort and thereby reduces the need for sedatives.
The implementation of NAVA technology marks a huge milestone for Tawam Hospital's respiratory therapy department. Edita Almonte, Department Head of Respiratory Therapy said, "With the cooperation of the nurses and physician trainers, the respiratory therapists have successfully managed to put this groundbreaking therapy into operation. We are proud to be the first UAE hospital with this new NAVA technology, especially as it is helping some of our smallest and most vulnerable patients to breathe more easily."
Electrical diaphragmatic activity (EDI) is often considered by many researchers as "the new vital sign" in critical care medicine. NAVA provides a unique means for physicians to diagnose and monitor various types of breathing disorders encountered in the intensive care unit.
Dr. Aiman Rahmani, Head of Pediatrics and Dr. Fares Chedid, Head of Neonatology Unit, also assisted the respiratory therapy team with the introduction of NAVA to Tawam NICU.
"NAVA offers optimal lung protection and greater safety for newborn infants who require mechanical ventilation," said Dr. Rahmani. "As a result of this new support system, several neonates with critical respiratory illness have seen their breathing dramatically improve over the last few weeks."
NAVA technology is provided by MAQUET Critical Care AB, one of the leading providers of medical products, therapies and services for Operating Rooms (ORs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs). MAQUET specialists were on hand to train and aid therapists with the successful launch of NAVA at Tawam.
Tawam Hospital is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA) which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.