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Shanghai, China, September 29, 2015
US Ambassador to China Max Baucus visits with one of the pediatric heart patients at the Shanghai Children Medical Center in 2014

The Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC) is well known for its stellar record of congenital heart surgery in China, performing 3,500 such lifesaving surgeries each year for children from as far away as Tibet, Xinjiang and remote areas of China. Thanks to the prenatal diagnosis capabilities at SCMC’s cardiac center, a fetus with congenital heart disease can be identified early to enable a swift intervention immediately after a child is born and reduce the long-term impact of congenital heart disease. This is exactly what happened to baby MaoMao, who was born on August 11, 2015 and presented with purplish skin due to a congenital heart condition. In medical terms, he had a completed ventricular septum and transposition of the great arteries. His aorta and pulmonary artery were completely transposed in opposite directions and this meant that the pulmonary circulation and systemic circulation were completely reversed, which could cause cyanosis and deprive MaoMao of oxygen to support the pulmonary and systematic circulation. In other words, his life was at risk because he was struggling to breathe.  

Fortunately for MaoMao and his family, SCMC has an excellent, collaborative practice with the OB/GYN department of the nearby RenJi hospital, the leading center for high-risk obstetric care.  And with SCMC being famous for its neonatal critical care, especially for congenital heart diseases (CHD), MaoMao was in the very best medical hands of a team led by Dr. Zhu ZhongQun. MaoMao recovered well after surgery and was eventually discharged from hospital in good shape with healthy, rosy cheeks and had post-operative follow-up examinations.

On World Heart Day, Project HOPE is especially proud of the fact that neonatal cardiac surgery accounts for more than sixty percent of the open heart surgery that SCMC is involved with. The cardiac center at SCMC is a national clinical center for pediatric congenital heart diseases, and it also provides tremendous support and brings children from Tibet, Xinjiang and remote areas to SCMC for cardiac surgery. Project HOPE is very proud to assist and support the development of the pediatric cardiac surgery team established almost 30 years ago in Shanghai, China.

World Heart Day takes place annually on September 29 to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease worldwide.

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