Pakistan gets its first paediatric cardiac electrophysiology programme at NICVD

Karachi’s biggest heart hospital, the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), has started Pakistan’s first paediatric cardiac electrophysiology Programme, with the first procedure successfully performed on an eight-year-old boy.

The child, a resident of Sukkur, had repeated attacks of fast heart rates of up to 200 beats per minute. After the procedure, he was permanently cured using catheters free of charge.

“This is the first time that an EP study and ablation procedure has been performed on such a young child in Pakistan. This was done by Dr Mohammad Mohsin, trained in paediatric cardiology and followed it with two years of training at the University of Alberta in Canada, who has been hired by the NICVD to start the first paediatric cardiac electrophysiology programme in Pakistan,” NICVD Executive Director Prof Nadeem Qamar was quoted as saying by The News Saturday.

The NICVD director called the programme “a great achievement” and said NICVD had become one of the best tertiary cardiac care hospitals in the world.

The institute also updated its Twitter account with a video giving details about the new programme.

Speaking about the first successful procedure, Dr Muhammad Mohsin, an assistant professor of paediatric cardiac electrophysiology, said there were no complications. “Heart problems in which the heart beats too fast or too slow are not uncommon in children. Highly specialised doctors can cure these children by means of a complex procedure called electrophysiology study and ablation. As there were no paediatric electrophysiologists in Pakistan, these children could not be adequately treated until now,” he said.

Dr Mohsin maintained that these complex procedures require dedicated teamwork between referring cardiologists, paediatric cardiologists, technologists, anaesthetists and electrophysiology physicians, all of whom are available under one roof at the NICVD.

The head, Dr Azam Shafquat, of cardiac electrophysiology at the NICVD, said the institute could previously only treat adult patients with catheter-based treatments. With this new service, he said, children suffering from these conditions for years could now also be cured.