“The heart team representing Cardiac Associates of Dallas and the Heart Hospital Baylor Plano returned to Christmas Island to follow up on the 12 patients who had curative surgery in 2009.
They all appear healthy with improved quality of life and no concerns or complications.
The ravages of rheumatic fever due to untreated Strep throat are most concerning in pregnant women. One such woman almost died during childbirth and will require heart valve replacement.
We elected on this visit to screen all teenage girls for this potential complication and performed heart checks and limited ultrasounds on more than 500 children from the middle and high schools.
We identified one such girl and another young boy with unrecognized congenital heart defect.
In addition, the local doctor has identified other children and adults with heart disease.
In total, we have identified a further seven who need heart procedures and we are in the process of arranging their surgeries here in Texas.
All together, over 700 people were examined in the five days on Christmas Island. A number of further potential problem cases were identified for follow-up on future visits.”