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Belizean nurse Adalberto Cruz training at cardiovascular center in the Dominican Republic

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Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2022. 11:18 am CST.

Photo Credit: Heineman-Robicsek Foundation

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belizean nurse Adalberto Cruz is undergoing a two-year perfusion training at the CEDIMAT cardiovascular center in the Dominican Republic.

Cruz is a nurse from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City.

According to the Heineman-Robicsek Foundation, Cruz entered a 2-year extracorporeal (perfusion) training program at the CEDIMAT Cardiovascular Center at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

“Cruz moved to the Dominican Republic to continue his training in-person,” said the Heineman-Robicsek Foundation.

According to the Texas Heart Institute (THI), “perfusionists are vital members of the cardiovascular surgical team because they are responsible for running the heart-lung (cardiopulmonary bypass) machine”. The THI said perfusionists are in high demand because perfusion technologists are needed for most open-heart operations.

“It is exciting to note that in May 2022, Mr. Cruz began operating the heart-lung machine and has pumped 6-cases,” said the Heineman-Robicsek Foundation. “He has also been doing case studies, where he is evaluating and analyzing complex cases.”

“Our staff advance their skills at the highest levels so that we as your tertiary care institution can serve you the public better,” said the KHMH in a social media post.

According to the Heineman-Robicsek Foundation, retired perfusionist Angel Perez has been mentoring Cruz throughout his training. Perez retired as a perfusionist from the Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute in the United States. He pumped the first open-heart surgery in Belize in 2012.

“Our sincerest thanks to Mr. Perez, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, Tarr Family Foundation, and New York Heineman for the steadfast support over the years,” said the Heineman-Robicsek Foundation.

 

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