Background. In 2001 the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit IRCCS S. Maria Nascente Center and the International Area of Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, in collaboration with the Cardiac Surgery Department "De Gasperis" of Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital in Milan, planned a project to treat children from impoverished countries. The "Fondo Sanitario Regionale" of the Lombard Region cosponsored the program. Methods. From October 2001 to November 2006, 32 patients (25 from Zimbabwe and 7 from Albania) were selected and submitted to cardiac surgery: 22 patients were affected by acquired valvular heart disease in NYHA class III-IV, 10 by congenital heart disease. After surgery the patients admitted to our rehabilitation unit underwent a period of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. Afterwards, the patients were in the care of selected Italian families for about 3 months. In both populations the problems faced in the selection, management and surgical approach are discussed. Results. At 21 months the survival of the whole study population was 93% (2 valvular patients died during the follow-up); 2 patients who initially underwent mitral valve repair were submitted to valve replacement for late appearance of severe regurgitation. In 3 patients with mitral valve bioprosthesis a significant structural valve deterioration occurred in the follow-up and 2 of them underwent valve replacement. Conclusions. The advantage of the excellent performance in durability of mechanical prosthetic valves (with respect to the limited durability of porcine bioprostheses), the problems with long-term anticoaguiation have to be taken. into consideration in the management of patients coming from socio-economically deprived areas.
|Translated title of the contribution||The project "Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation - Cardio-Thoracic Department De Gasperis - Lombardy Region for the care of children from socio-economically deprived areas affected by cardiac disease|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine