MEXICO CITY – Mexican doctors successfully performed open-heart surgery on a 9-year-old girl on the night of Sept. 7, when a magnitude-8.2 earthquake rocked the central and southern part of the country, medical sources said on Sunday.
“On Thursday, Sept. 7, a 9-year-old patient with severe heart failure was urgently attended to and operated on at the La Raza National Medical Center’s General Hospital” in Mexico City, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) reported in a bulletin.
According to the institution, the five-hour surgery was under way around midnight when the powerful quake, the strongest registered in Mexico since 1932, hit, killing 98.
“The emergency protocols and brigades were activated properly: patients, relatives and personnel on the lower floor and floors 1 and 2 were evacuated, while on the other floors, people gathered in safety zones,” the communique said.
However, in the 7th floor operating theater, due to the girl’s delicate condition, the medical and nursing team decided to continue the open-heart surgery without interruption.
The director of the specialized medical unit in charge of the surgery, Guillermo Careaga Rayne, said that the patient’s serious condition was caused by an infection at the site of a piece of medical equipment inserted into the girl’s heart five years ago to correct her congenital cardiac problems.
“At all times ... the team ... headed by Dr. David Arellano Ostoa, the head of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Department, kept calm and continued the operation,” the text of the statement said.
Jessica Hernandez, the girl’s mother, thanked the hospital and the medical team for their professionalism and commitment, and her daughter remains in the intensive care unit and is receiving specialized attention while she recuperates.