View Full Version : Australian Cardiac team's open heart surgery in PNG begins

07-08-2003, 08:25 PM
A TEAM of 35 open heart surgeons from Australia have successfully completed an open heart surgery on a total of five patients (mostly children), today, at the Port Moresby General Hospital Theatre clinic.

It was their first theatre operations after arriving from Australia yesterday.

The operation is an annual voluntary service carried out as part of an understanding reached in 1993 between the Papua New Guinea Open Heart Operation and the Australian Cardiac team based in Sydney.

The team which consisted of paediatric doctors, surgeons, nurses, anaesthetists will be in PNG for a week to perform open heart surgery on patients in the country who have been identified of having heart diseases.

Doctors and surgeons with nurses on hand to assist in theatre when the open heart surgery began today

07-08-2003, 08:27 PM
Operations on the five patients started this afternoon at 1.00pm. It was a busy day at the theatre with anaesthetists doctors, surgeons and nurses on hand to help with the operations.

The team was further divided into two groups, the “Kumul” led by an Australian and PNG doctors and operating in Theatre room number one and the “Kangaroo” team led by an Australian and operating at the Theatre room number one.

According to Chairman of PNG Open Heart Operations, Dr Chris Marjen, it would have been ten years since the medical team last visited and they would have successfully completed a total of 200 open heart surgeries so far.

Operations going on at the main theatre room at the Port Moresby General Hospital

07-08-2003, 08:31 PM
“We are looking at adding another 40 patients on the list and we hope to have it done by the end of the operations. This operation is going till 15th of August,” Mr Marjen said.

“Our Australian counterparts are here on a voluntary basis serving he needs of our people at the same time educating our young nurses, doctors and surgeons in open heart surgery,” he added.

He said their services were free and that it was a privilege to have them in the country.

Of the likely 40 patients, about 70 per cent were children and 30 per cent adults from all over the country.

Team one of the Australian open heart operation group namely, "Kumul", operating in theatre room number one

07-08-2003, 08:34 PM
“Patients are screened every year and those confirmed of having heart disease are to have operations. We only have two or three adults and the rest are mostly children aged about 1 – 10 years old,” Sr Rosemary Akaina who is the assistant nurse manager for the operating theatre said.

She said the open heart operations agreement between the Australia medical team and PNG Open Heart Surgery saves a lot of time and costs for the country’s heart patients to go overseas.

However, on top of this, it proves to be a good learning process as well for PNG doctors, surgeons and nurses who have now become very competitive since the operations began a decade ago, she Akaina said.


The author seen here with doctors and nurses operating in the background. Had to put on the surgical clothes before going into the theatre to take some pictures

08-08-2003, 08:18 AM
This lady travelled all the way from the Chimbu Province for her child to be given the chance of the operation by visiting doctors.

08-08-2003, 08:29 AM
Father cuddles his baby son just before his operation yesterday, 7th August, 2003 and was very grateful to the doctors from Australia and sends a big thank you ! :

10-08-2003, 04:05 PM
Port Moresby General Hospital has received over its target for the Open Heart Operation 2003, thanks to every one who contributed.

The hospital received over K280,000. from the target for this year which was K250,000.

Habours Board gave their donation worth of K10,000. on Friday.

The operation chairman, Dr Chris Marjen on behalf of the patients, conveyed appreciation to all who contributed to the successful operation 2003.

He invited those who contributed to send their representative to observe the operation for themselves.

The parents of the children who went for the operation also conveyed their appreciation.

Mary Nick from Mendi, Southern Highlands province who traveled from Tabubil said she was glad that her child, Mecien Nick under gone the successful operation.

She said without the effort of those who contributed her child would not live a health life with that she thanked everyone who contributed towards the operation.

Meanwhile as of Sunday evening total of 25 children had under gone the operation.


15-08-2003, 02:32 PM
Total of 41 patients who now have an opportunity to live a normal live, thanks to the Open Heart Operation 2003 team and those who contributed to the program.

This makes a total of 300 successful reports with survival since the program began in 1993.

Unfortunately, two children were not able to survive because of complications they had after the operation at Port Moresby General Hospital.

Chief Cardiac Surgeon, Graham Nunn said one of the child’s surgery was successful but was unsuccessful in combating the complications of malaria and a blood disorder.

He said surgical intervention in the second child was no helpful in improving heart function due to a weakened heart muscle from birth and as result the child developed multiple organ failure.

“The operation team regret the loss of those children but one should be mindful that kind of surgery carries a risk not just in PNG but other developed countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, the coordinator of the program, Dr Chris Marjen said 17patients had been discharged and remainder would be discharged over the weekend.

“The continued success of this program relies in government and community support from both Australian and PNG. Not forgetting the donations from the communities both in cash and in kind.
“We are grateful of that and need similar support in years to come,” said Dr Marjen.