Doctors at SEHA’s Tawam Hospital in Al Ain have saved the life of a 13 year old road accident victim using a rare technique that avoided potentially lethal surgery.
The young Emirati suffered multiple injuries to his chest following a serious car crash on the Al Ain to Abu Dhabi road, including a tear in his aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body. To repair the aorta, which acts as the main conductor of blood between the heart and organs, would normally involve complicated, high-risk surgery.
However, a team of Tawam specialists from the divisions of Pediatric Cardiology, Interventional Radiology, Thoracic Surgery, Adult Cardiology, and Vascular Surgery, used a procedure never before practiced in the UAE, to close the tear without operating. The procedure was performed by Dr. Mohamed Hamdan, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology, and Dr. Ayman Saleh, Chief of Interventional Radiology.
“We went in through a small opening in the groin vessels to reach the damaged area”, Dr. Hamdan said. (Figure 1 arrow) “We then put a specially designed stent (a platinum frame, coated with 24K gold) covered with a special tissue (Figure 2) into the damaged area to close the tear, and stop the blood from leaking outside the vessel wall (Figure 3 arrow),” he added. A number of stents had been brought to Tawam Hospital from the U.S.A. just days earlier. The stents, which are permanent, can be made bigger as the child grows older. They can be used in small children as young as 1 year up to adult size. The stent can de expanded as the patient grows. “The timing was extremely fortunate, in that we had only just received an adequate number of stents," Dr. Saleh said. “Otherwise, we would have had to send the patient for a difficult emergency surgery, to repair the tear and stop the blood loss.” The patient is described as being in an excellent condition.
Tawam is managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine and owned and operated by SEHA, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
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