WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th September, 2022) A group of surgeons from the US-based Bill Novick Cardiac Alliance last week operated on ten children in Lviv, Ukraine, and is planning to make four additional trips to the country during the remainder of this year and in 2023, team leader Bill Novick told Sputnik.
Novick pointed out that several surgeries were canceled at the last minute because the patients developed fever the night before their operation or arrived at the hospital with different symptoms of cold.
The children are doing well and almost all, except two, have already returned home, Novick said.
"We have two children left in the intensive care unit. One because he may or may not need a pacemaker. Right now, he is on a temporary pacemaker and the local doctors are waiting to see if his regular electrical system recovers," he said.
Another child faced respiratory problems.
"He is not on the ventilator, he is breathing spontaneously, but he has got either bronchitis or low-grade pneumonia," the doctor added.
Speaking about security conditions during the trip, Novick acknowledged that he heard air radar signals every day, but fortunately, nothing serious has happened.
"We heard daily air raid signals, but no missile strikes or anything like that while we were there. Just air raid signals," he said.
The team is planning additional trips to Lviv, hoping that the security situation will allow it to continue the work.
The Cardiac Alliance established a pediatric heart surgery project in Lviv last year given that there were no such programs in the western part of Ukraine at that time and children had to travel to Kiev and other cities to receive relevant treatment.
READY TO RESUME COOPERATION IN RUSSIA
The alliance planned to visit Kemerovo last spring to operate on children with conditions requiring complex surgeries, however local colleagues asked them to postpone the trip due to financial issues. They did not cancel the previously scheduled program in December, but Novick said he had not heard a single word from them since.
"November 1 is like the very last second. But here is the problem - my Russian visa has expired. So, I do not know if I can actually get a visa in time to go, plus I have to accumulate a team," Novick said.
"I talked to my colleagues in Voronezh last week. They are not doing the number of cases that they would like to do, but they are operating between two and four children every week, and they are very thankful for the training and the experience that we provided for them," he said.