Sidra Medicine delivering outstanding care for newborn babies

Doha, Qatar, 26 August 2019Newly released figures from Sidra Medicine show the hospital is delivering world-class care for newborn babies requiring major surgery, excelling some of the world’s top medical institutions in certain surgical procedures.

The hospital has assembled a prestigious team of expert neonatologists, anesthetists, nurses and surgeons from around the world, giving newborn babies born with serious surgical conditions the very best chance to survive, thrive, and giving parents the confidence that their children are receiving the best available care in the world.

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) opened in April 2018 and since then 94 newborn babies requiring surgery have been admitted and more than 140 surgical operations have been carried out on these babies. Many of the children admitted were born prematurely and weighed less than 1kg, meaning they represent the youngest and most vulnerable patients in modern medicine.

Dr. Helmut Hummler, Division Chief of Neonatology at Sidra Medicine, said: “We have set up a world-class NICU service to provide specialist care for critically ill newborn babies who need the highest level of care. Our multidisciplinary-based approach means that babies, especially those requiring surgery, have an excellent team assigned to care for them and their families. This includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, operating room staff, allied healthcare professionals, radiology and laboratory services, neonatologists and neonatal nurses. Other pediatric subspecialist experts are involved in the multidisciplinary care as needed for cases with specific diseases.”

Figures for the first 12 months of the NICU’s operation show that almost 99 percent of babies with life-threatening conditions survived the most critical 30-day period following surgery. This is comparable, and in some cases surpasses, the world’s leading hospitals.

Prof. Ziyad M. Hijazi, Executive Chair of Pediatric Medicine at Sidra Medicine said: “This rate compares very favorably, if not better than, the most advanced and well-established units in the world. Every life is important, and our team works extremely hard to ensure excellent neonatal outcomes. These outcomes are the result of exceptional teamwork. Our healthcare professionals with their combined expertise have joined together from a range of international backgrounds, with the common aim of delivering the highest quality care to the babies and families of Qatar.”

Surgical operations performed by the NICU team, which has almost 200 well trained nursing staff, included major surgery in the abdomen, lungs and the diaphragm including the use of the artificial lung machine known as ECMO. The work receives expert support from Sidra’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit, which provides pre-natal assessments and can manage cases even before birth.

Dr. Mansour Ali, the Executive Chair of Surgery at Sidra Medicine said: “Our surgeons, who are truly world-class in their fields, have been working closely with the NICU and wider pediatric healthcare teams to deliver treatment programs to ensure the maximum quality of life.

“Some of the babies are just days old when they have to undergo life-saving surgery. In the past, many of these babies would have had to travel abroad to seek life-saving care and treatment. Now, we are proud to say that Sidra Medicine offers hope to many families with babies with complex conditions.”

Dr Basem Khalil, Director of Neonatal Surgery at Sidra Medicine said: “We are very pleased with these world class results in our youngest babies. The successful care of the tiniest babies requiring major surgery in a sustainable manner is one of the signs of an advanced health care system and currently the State of Qatar can stand proudly amongst the most advanced nations on the planet. The achievement in such a short span of time is phenomenal and Sidra Medicine’s vision to be a top world class hospital is being realized.”

Dr. Robert Crone, Acting CEO at Sidra Medicine, said the results are a remarkable achievement. “Sidra Medicine has only been operational for a short time, but we are already seeing patient outcomes on a par with some of the world’s best hospitals. I would like to congratulate everyone working at Sidra Medicine; medicine and patient care is very much a team effort and I am very pleased that we have such diligent, talented and hard-working doctors, nurses and support staff, translating the vision and mission of Sidra Medicine.”

Read the Arabic here.

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