Operation Open Heart

via Papua New Guinea



OOH - Operation Open Heart

About Operation Heart

Operation Open Heart involves a team of medical and health specialists including surgeons, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, intensive care and operating theatre nurses and technicians who all donate their time, skills, expertise and money to travel from Australia to Papua New Guinea to join forces with their local counterparts to perform cardiac surgery on Papua New Guineans.

The first Operation Open Heart team arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1993.

Over a period of ten days ordinary operating theatres at the Port Moresby General Hospital are transformed into cardiac theatres where approximately 45-50 cardiac operations are performed, mainly on children.

Left untreated it is estimated that one third of children suffering congenital heart defects will die before their first birthday. Following successful cardiac surgery, these kids go on to lead active and normal lives.

The cost of this type of surgery alone would be AUD$25,000 per patient if they had to travel overseas. This kind of money is well beyond most Papua New Guineans.

The medical team along with the numerous sponsors of Operation Open Heart make it possible for the surgery to be conducted right here within Papua New Guinea.

It is a huge logistical effort requiring the transport from Australia of more than two tonnes of medical equipment and supplies.

Russell Lee, Project Leader of Operation Open Heart Papua New Guinea, believes the critical legacy that the team leaves behind is the skills that the local medical and nursing teams develop while working side by side with the visiting team, increasing their proficiency in the care that they deliver each day and in turn improving the outcomes for their patients after the Australian team has left.

Miss PNG Red Cross - Hiri Hanenamo Quest



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Created 23 Jul, 1998
Updated 2 Apr, 2012

© 1998 - 2012 - Trevor Michie