A few years ago, a foreign delegation visited the cardiovascular surgical department of the Okryu Children’s Hospital in the capital city of Pyongyang.
After looking round its operating theatre and sickrooms, the members of the delegation were amazed to learn that the department is provided with sophisticated medical facilities, quite contrary to their expectation.
They were struck with admiration at the facts that its medical workers creditably performed difficult operations, the technology owned by some countries boasting their development in cardiovascular surgery, and that charges for surgical operations and treatment were free.
The medical workers of the department have successfully conducted over 4,500 rounds of cardiac operations.
Typical of them was that for a 3-month baby weighing 4kg, suffering from a congenital heart disease with three kinds of malformations.
According to an established theory, the surgery had to be conducted two times.
After a serious consultation, they decided to perform a single operation to correct the three kinds of malformations. When they incised its chest, the operators noticed that the cardiac muscle was too weak with serious changes in the lungs so that the heart might stop beating.
The three-hour-long operation was crowned with success.
In addition, they restored a child suffering from the tetralogy of Fallot and coarctation of the aorta.
A foreign cardiologist had vouched that it would take them 10 years to succeed in the operation for the tetralogy of Fallot.
But, they succeeded in the operation at a go by deepening their studies of the disease and improving their skills.
They developed the cardiac surgery method of right thoracolaparotomy, which was awarded the February 16 Sci-Tech Prize in January 2018 for making a tangible contribution to developing the country’s medical science and technology.
At present, all of them have their academic degrees and all its nurses are enrolled at the Pyongyang University of Medical Sciences online.
“We will, in the future, intensify the studies of neonate cardiac surgery, including transposition of great artery (TGA), so as to reduce the mortality of infants,” says Ri Chol Jin, head of the department.