At the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town (RXH), interventional cardiac catheterisation is well developed, and we are able to perform most of the procedures of a modern paediatric cardiac catheterisation laboratory. In addition, we have developed a system, called CATHCHAT, whereby our catheterisation procedures can be transmitted live online.
While we are proficient in most interventional procedures, none of us are specifically qualified interventionalists. We are generalist paediatric cardiologists with interests in diverse aspects of paediatric cardiology, some with more experience in interventional procedures than others. It is one of the reasons that we have developed CATHCHAT: for us to learn from remote experts.
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa celebrated it’s 60th year in 2016. It is a public hospital of the Department of Health of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, and the only dedicated children’s-only hospital in South Africa. It has a proud history of service to the health and wellbeing of children of families generally without medical insurance. As a public hospital it suffers resource constraints, but nevertheless remains the premier children’s hospital in South Africa with an international reputation of excellence.
Official website: www.westerncape.gov.za/your_gov/149/
Children’s Hospital Trust website: childrenshospitaltrust.org.za
The “Red Cross Heart Unit” is not formally constituted, but is a description of all services that assist in the care of children with heart disease at Red Cross Children’s Hospital. It therefore comprises of paediatric cardiologists, paediatric heart surgeons, as well as anaesthetists, intensivists, cardiac technologists, cardiac nursing staff, and all others that contribute to the management of paediatric heart disease.
CATHCHAT falls within the Red Cross Heart Unit and is based in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory at Red Cross Hospital. All paediatric cardiac catheterisations in the public health service of the Western Cape are done in the Red Cross Hospital cath lab, and can be broadcast over CATHCHAT. Further details are given under “How it works” in this webpage.