About 1.000 children are born in the Bijeljina hospital annually, of which, on average, about 10 have congenital heart defects.
In medicine, prevention is often the only cure for diseases. The decision to perform a free ultrasound scan of the heart to every newborn baby, with the aim of early detection of congenital heart anomalies, is a big step forward in neonatology – with this step the Bijeljina hospital has joined many larger centers.
“The goal of screening our health institution is to detect the disease in the asymptomatic phase of the disease before the baby shows any symptoms, which is of great importance – both for the prognosis of the disease and for the quality of life of these children,” noted Dr. Ruzica Borovic, a pediatric cardiologist atthe General Hospital Sveti Vracevi Bijeljina.
So far, the screening has been done selectively, and in the future,all newborns will be included. We place special emphasis on the fact that this is the only example in practice in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). There is no waiting list, no additional payment – the focus is on health, and most importantly, on the health of the newborn.
”When you have a newborn and while he is still in the hospital, you sometimes do not hear the echo, which is heard later in the 1st or 2nd year. That is why it is very important to make a diagnosis right after birth because that is the best prevention. If screening for phenylketonuria, hyperthyroidism, and hearing assessment is done, why not screen for heart defects, which are the most common ones that people are born with? ” explained Dr. Snezana Simic-Peric, a pediatric cardiologist.
Dr. Ruzica Borovic, a pediatric cardiologist at the General Hospital Sveti Vracevi Bijeljina, reminded that congenital heart defects are structural heart defects and can be hemodynamically stable in their clinical course, requiring a cardiologist’s periodic monitoring of the child: “However, some heart defects, unfortunately, require therapy with medicines and often surgical intervention.”
Cardiovascular diseases are among the most common. The practice of Angio-sala working 24 hours a day was introduced in this health institution, which proved to be justified considering that in less than a year there was a need for about a thousand interventions, including about 200 acute heart attacks.