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Titanium Valve of my Heart Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by TOPH, Philippines Apr 30, 2004
Child & Youth Rights   Short Stories


“Tick, tack, tick, tack” this is what Rod Douker have to hear every minute of his life. But the benefits provided to him by the operation is really beneficial for the reason that he gets to enjoy living a longer life than his relatives whom some live only up to thirty nine years of age due to cardiac problems.

The process was, nevertheless, bloody. It is amazing that the doctors are not moved in disgust by such scenario. I admire their courage, even though the doctor who is the one operating Douker at that time tells the stench of blood that they smell during the operation. Donna Willis MD narrated about the operation that Rod Douker undergone, replacing his aneurisms with artificial Dacron tubing. Open heart corrective system involves the following individual technologies: external cardio pulmonary machine, elastic defibrillator, echography (Doppler Sonography), aortic valve technology (artificial: made of titanium) and synthetic fibre material for coronary reconstruction (Dacron tubing). The bone that protects the heart was divided bone through the process called stirring. The heart continuously pumps as long as there is blood, so they use a heart-lung support machine to be able to operate firmly on his heart. They also wash his internals with ice, to cool down body functions and slow them down. The Dacron tube should be a graft of the right length. The doctor, after attaching the Dacron tube, placed the Titanium valve that was said to last for a life time, inside the patient’s heart. The operation is like smiting together a lot of factors. Once everything is assembled, one can no longer go back, thus the stitches should be made perfectly the first time. The operation per se is simple, what complicates the matter is when there is some Technical failure or when the tissues of the patient are weak.

“I happen to be an orphan at this point in time, I now that God will take care of me” uttered Douker. This is his reply after knowing most of the risks associated with the operation. It is why future developments, such as: miniaturized (internal) cardiopulmonary circulator, fibre optic endosocopy (cardiac: internal) will make it possible in the future to perform coronary cardiac surgery in non-invasive manner (with out opening the chest), and is really something to look forward to.
The doctor explained that it is not right to risk people in operating room if we don’t know who they are. This according to him is what constitutes a moral enterprise. A personal connection with patient so that when they go in the operating room and risk their live, the doctors has this attachment and would like to save his patient.

In the Philippines, most people don’t trust their doctors. Sometimes we can’t blame these people because there are a number of doctors that operate just to earn more money instead of curing the real disease of the patient. Another problem in the health system is basically the absence of health system in some rural communities. Not all people have access to medicine because the government cannot put up community health centers because they lack budget to do so.

Moreover, there are some medical practitioners that practice their profession without having any license. Some of the medical authorities even cater to pregnant women who want to have an abortion. Thus, Filipinos find it difficult to communicate with their doctors.

After two weeks Douker is already playing basketball. He said that patients should learn to ask questions and never feel stupid about the whole scenario. After two weeks, a person who has performed a heart operation here in the Philippines is either dead or financially broke. Even the former President Joseph Estrada does not want to have his operation here.

There a lot of improvements that can still be made to our health system. What is more important to us to help one another? The doctors should be honest regarding their profession while the people should learn to cooperate with their doctors. It will take some time but I believe that we will be able to get there.



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Since 2003 I've been an active contributor of Panorama. I am grateful for this online magazine for allowing individuals to be able to share their ideas and expression to other youth across the globe. Exchanges of ideas and aspirations leads to empowerment and spark of inspiration.

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