Philippine Daily Inquirer - - LIFESTYLE -

Con­gen­i­tal heart dis­ease (CHD) is a prob­lem in­volv­ing the struc­ture of the heart that is present at birth. It is the most com­mon type of birth de­fect, and can in­volve the walls and valves of the heart, and ar­ter­ies and veins near the heart.

The most com­mon prob­lems in­volve holes that did not close, or valves that did not open or are de­fec­tive. These can dis­rupt the nor­mal flow of blood through the heart, caus­ing it to flow in­ef­fec­tively, go in the wrong di­rec­tion, or be blocked com­pletely.

Glob­ally, CHD is the most com­mon birth de­fect, af­fect­ing roughly six to eight out of 1,000 births.

In the Philip­pines, an es­ti­mated 20,000 ba­bies are born with CHD ev­ery year. Roughly eight in 1,000 Filipino new­borns will be born with CHD, and two will need surgery or catheter­based in­ter­ven­tion within the first year of life.

“We have really been able to push the bound­aries of catheter pro­ce­dures for pe­di­atric heart­pa­tients in the last 10 years,” said Dr. Dex­ter Cheng, pe­di­atric in­ter­ven­tional car­di­ol­o­gist at De Los San­tos Med­i­cal Cen­ter (DLSMC).

At DLSMC, a sub­sidiary of Manuel V. Pangili­nan’s MVP Group of Com­pa­nies un­der the Metro Pa­cific Hos­pi­tal Hold­ings Inc. ban­ner, the hos­pi­tal’s sta­teof-the-art Ca­theter­i­za­tion Lab­o­ra­tory Unit pro­vides the lat­est tech­nol­ogy and ex­pert pe­di­atric in­ter­ven­tional car­di­ol­o­gists for pa­tients suf­fer­ing from con­gen­i­tal heart de­fects.

In the Philip­pines, there are only about 100 pe­di­atric car­di­ol­o­gists and only 13 pe­di­atric in­ter­ven­tional car­di­ol­o­gists, re­sult­ing in long wait­ing pe­ri­ods.

At the DLSMC Cath Lab, pe­di­atric heart pa­tients are seen by an ex­pert pe­di­atric in­ter­ven­tional car­di­ol­o­gist utiliz­ing the lat­est cath lab tech­nol­ogy, with the ca­pa­bil­ity of two to three cath lab pro­ce­dures a day.

The cost pack­ages are com­pa­ra­ble with pub­lic hos­pi­tals, but with pri­vate hos­pi­tal con­ve­niences.

“This proves that qual­ity health­care doesn’t have to be ex­pen­sive,” Dr. Cheng ex­plained. De Los San­tos Med­i­cal Cen­ter, tel. 8935763 ext. 3190

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