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Argentinean doctor Juan Carlos Vazquez, president of the Latin American Perfusion Council (CLAP), highlighted the development of cardiovascular medicine in Cuba, which was boosted in the 1980s there with the opening of the first heart clinics.

Based on his 30-year-long career, the cardiologist praised the professionalism of Cuban perfusionists, of which there are 26 in the country.

Perfusionists are health experts responsible for the operation of artificial blood pumps to circulate the blood of open-heart patients during surgery. This action substitutes for the functioning of the heart and lungs while the cardiac surgeon operates, Vazquez explained.

The expert praised the efforts in Cuba to provide free cardiology services, noting that on the island there are 15 latest generation heart-lung machines, whose cost is estimated at $50,000 to $80,000 each. That cost of surgery also includes disposable materials that are used, valued roughly at 500 dollars per patient, he emphasized.

The Argentinean physician was the founder of the Perfusion School in his country, noting that other Latin American nations with this type of school include Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela.

Vazques, who currently works at the Italian hospital in Buenos Aires, was elected president of the Latin American Perfusion Council at the 6th Latin American Congress on Extra-corporeal Technology that recently concluded in Havana.

The doctor has performed more than 15, 000 operations, including those on children. He also works as a perfusionist during surgeries on the hearts of newborn babies" which are very delicate as babies' organs are very immature and small, he explained. Different from adults, newborns can be completely healed from their conditions, he added.

Cuba has been a member of the Latin American Profusion Council, which now has more than 1000 expert members since its creation 15 years ago.

Source: ACN

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