AUGUST 9-15, 2015


Convento de los Dominicos in Santo Domingo

Convento de los Dominicos in Santo Domingo


On August 9th, CardioStart International volunteers returned to The “Clinica Corazones Unidos” upon invitation and support of Heart Care Dominicana for an adult cardiac surgical mission. A team of 14 professionals collaborated with local physicians, nurses, technicians and students to provide support, education and assistance in caring for medically underserved patients. The mission was a great success with 8 patients, ages 16-68 years old, receiving open-heart surgery during the 5 days in the operating room.

Picture 2
CardioStart Volunteers and local staff work side by side for best patient care


Operating Theater and Surgeries and Education:
CardioStart operating room staff and surgeons worked side by side with the local team, allowing them to practice skills learned for better operations under the careful guidance of the experienced head cardiac surgeon from CardioStart. Already addressed was the overloading of trays, which can also be a risk of unsterile instruments. CardioStart volunteers found the OR personnel to be very interested in assisting the surgical process and are thankful for all assistance provided during the mission

Picture 3
Happy thumbs up from Dr. Santos and another successful patient


The patients were received from the operating theater and weaned from ventilation with good progress and a level of collaboration the CardioStart team was highly impressed with. In all departments the teams worked together to give the patient the best outcome and experience. The local staff handled critique and guidance with utmost professionalism and CardioStart team members left the local staff with recommendations for future best care practices that we feel confident was understood and will be implemented.
Below are a few recommendations from CardioStart professionals:
– HME and bacterial filters recommended for ventilation circuits by respiratory therapist.
– Ongoing education needed for nursing department in the area of temporary pacemakers.
– Exercise caution in order review to assess antibiotic administration already given in the operating theater and not duplicating in the ICU.
-Recommend work with intensivist and local RN’s in vasopressor titrations to maintain vital signs within recommended range. Work toward more RN autonomy in this duty. The use of protocols in orders and earned trust will assist in this process.
-Blood infusions should be cross checked at the bedside by two RN’s to ensure safety in correct administration
-Medications made available at the bedside including pain medications, plasma expanders and volume.
-More aggressive and speedy treatment of hypertension postoperatively. Recommend dosing charts and calculators to know medication dosages.

Picture 4
Team group picture


Picture 5



We are especially thankful to the following for donations, supplies, support and assistance to make this mission a great success:
Fundacion Heart Care Dominica
Clinica and Fundacion Corazones Unidos
The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood New Jersey.
The Valley Hospital Foundation, New Jersey
Scanlon International “Life Care Program” St. Paul Minnesota
St. Jude Medical