The Public Health Ministry has announced the establishment of a new center for Percutaneous Pulmonary Valve Implantation (PPVI) through a collaboration between seven medical institutes. The goal of this partnership is to improve the treatment’s efficiency and reduce the mortality rate for children with congenital heart disease. The medical institutes involved in this venture recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a ceremony presided over by Public Health Permanent Secretary Opas Karnkawinpong.
The institutions that signed the MoU are the Centre of Excellence in Paediatric Cardiology at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health; the Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Heart Centre at Songklanagarind Hospital; the Cardiovascular Excellence Centre at Rajavithi Hospital; Central Chest Institute; Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital; Surat Thani Hospital; and Hat Yai Hospital. Since 2011, Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health has been collaborating with the Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Heart Centre and Rajavithi Hospital to train medical personnel in treating heart diseases, with expert support from Evelina London Children’s Hospital in the UK.
The MoU aims to expand upon this ongoing cooperation by establishing an international training hub for PPVI, to enhance surgeons’ skills, reduce the mortality rate of children and teenagers with heart disease, and increase research and personnel training. Dr. Opas stated that 50% of children with congenital heart diseases go through surgery, and 10% need follow-up surgery as a result of the disease’s complexity. More than 4,000 people with congenital heart disease undergo surgery annually, with 400 of them requiring repeat surgery, primarily due to pulmonary valve replacement needs.
PPVI can reduce the amount of time patients wait for surgery and lessen the likelihood of needing repeat surgeries, according to Dr. Opas. The cost of the treatment ranges from 600,000 to 1 million baht per procedure. Since 2013, Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health has treated approximately 50 patients with PPVI, enabling them to return to their normal lives.
Medical websites describe PPVI, also known as transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement, as a minimally invasive surgery to replace a failing pulmonary valve in the heart. The creation of this new center aims to provide better access to this life-saving treatment for children and teenagers suffering from congenital heart disease and improve overall patient outcomes in Thailand.