Global Health Asia-Pacific Best Hospitals Awards 2021 - Page 87



Transplanting hope As Malaysia ’ s leading heart specialist centre , the National Heart Institute , or more commonly known as Institut Jantung Negara ( IJN ), was the first to pioneer heart and lung transplantations in the country . The centre has made continuing strides , as evidenced by being named as the Heart Transplant Service Provider of the Year at Global Health Asia-Pacific Healthcare and Hospital Awards twice so far .
In December 1997 , IJN performed Malaysia ’ s first heart transplant — and has since gone on to refine its services to deliver the latest techniques and innovations to patients both locally and regionally . To date , IJN has successfully carried out 27 transplant surgeries . The centre is still the only hospital in Malaysia to offer heart transplantation and mechanical heart implantation surgery . Following the success of its first heart transplantation , IJN carried on to participate in a world-first clinical trial for cardiovascular stem cell transplantation surgery in 2003 , carried out in a collaboration with the General Hospital of Kuala Lumpur and the Kansai Medical University of Osaka , Japan . Subsequent years saw the centre perform Malaysia ’ s first lung transplantation in December 2005 , as well as the country ’ s first double lung transplantation in October 2007 .
While transplantation is the ideal solution for end-stage heart and lung disease , IJN has also made significant efforts at exploring other forms of treatment for heart failure patients – namely , mechanical systems . These systems not only act as a bridge for patients awaiting organ donations , but also serve as a lifeline for those who are unable to
Heart Surgery in Progress
receive a transplant in the first place .
Here , IJN boasts of being the first hospital in the country to perform a mechanical heart implantation in 2005 . Since then , various state-of-the-art mechanical systems have been introduced for patients suffering from end stage heart disease . These systems offer patients full circulatory support , and are lightweight enough to offer patients the freedom of mobility to continue carrying out their daily activities . These systems include the left ventricular assist device ( LVAD ) and the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation ( ECMO ).
The LVAD is an implantable mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the ventricles to the rest of the body . While commonly implanted in patients awaiting a full heart transplant , the LVAD has also been proven useful as a long-term treatment option for patients with heart failure who are not good candidates for a heart transplant
for various factors such as age and other underlying conditions .
Meanwhile , the ECMO is a mechanical circulatory support systems that temporarily takes over the function of lungs and heart for patients experiencing failure in both these organs . Generally , it is used either post-cardiopulmonary bypass or in late stage treatment of a person with profound heart and / or lung failure .
Aside from pioneering novels forms of transplantations , IJN also takes a holistic approach to caring for those undergoing such surgeries . Among the measures taken in this regard are counselling patients who are waiting for organ donations , and guiding them throughout the possible scenarios they may have to face to minimise the emotional anguish involved in the process .
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com NOVEMBER 2021