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Social responsibility :  « From Heart to Heart », Lesaffre Ukraine’s beautiful project

Contributing to finance surgical equipment

The objective is to purchase equipment for endovascular heart surgeries. The mechanism of the project is rather simple: to transfer funds to the account of the charity foundation “Future Hearts” by optimizing some costs at the enterprise. Everyone can also join the project personally by transferring money.

About the foundation

The “Future Hearts” foundation is the first charitable organization created by doctors-cardiac surgeons of the leading cardiac centers of Ukraine. Foundation helps in purchasing valuable intracardiac implants for cardiac surgery for children with congenital heart disease. Operations are conducted at the National Mykola Amosov Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery – the largest cardiac center of the country, by the most experienced doctors – interventional cardiac surgeons.

About interventional surgery

Interventional surgery (endovascular, transcatheter) is the branch of medicine in which heart surgeries are performed by means of access-through-vessels method with the help of special miniature medical instruments under the X-ray control. Due to this method heart diseases can be treated without thoracotomy (cutting the sternum), without use of an artificial lung-heart machine, without pump-oxygenator and cardiac arrest, without deep anesthesia. The vessels of thigh, neck or arm are used for access. After performing the vessel puncture miniature instruments (stents, spirals, occluders used for operating procedures and eliminating deficiencies) are inserted into the passage.

About little patients

Every year about 5 000 children are born with congenital heart defects in Ukraine. More than half of them can be cured by endovascular method. Currently, the maximum number of endovascular interventions is near 500 per year. The main reason is the lack of funds for expendable instruments: occluders, stents, and spirals. The surgeries are free of charge for children under 18 but the cost of equipment for an average Ukrainian family is inconceivable: from 1 000 to 5 000 USD.
In case of heart disease, “waiting” for money to buy the equipment can lead to irreversible changes. By reason of the lack of funds about 2 500 children are operated by transthoracic method – with a cut of the chest, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary bypass, that involves difficult and long period of rehabilitation. Open heart surgery (OHS) is always extremely complex and risky. The heart is completely stopped, for the time of OHS child’s organism is functioning through life sustaining equipment, and at the end of the surgery (in 5-6 hours) the heart is restarted again. The time of a child’s recovery is long-lasting: intensive care therapy, limitation of physical activity, a large number of prohibitions, disability. After endovascular interventions children become completely healthy and quickly return to normal life.
Unfortunately, not all heart defects can be eliminated by endovascular method. But there are children whom it is possible to help to avoid OHS, and it is worth fighting for them.

Each enterprise has costs that can be optimized: starting simply from coffee and finishing with corporate parties. The Lesaffre Ukraine team left out the traditional corporate New Year party, and all saved funds were transferred to the “Future Hearts” foundation. Lesaffre Ukraine also replaced the usual NY presents for partners and clients by diaries and calendars with details about the foundation “Future hearts”, and  informing them about the charity project.

Last September, the Lesaffre Ukraine team has met Kristina – a 5 year old girl the team helped to avoid OHS. Now she’s absolutely healthy!

Facebook page of the “Future Hearts” foundation : https://www.facebook.com/FutureHeartsCharity