Prof. Horațiu Suciu: The hearts of children born with malformations must continue to beat

In the hands of doctor Horațiu Suciu were, literally, the hearts of thousands of children. He feels helpless when he thinks of the more than 400 little ones with heart defects who remain inoperative every year. Every year, 1,000 children are born who need rescue. Unfortunately, in our country, they operate on around 350. Some of them manage to find their health among foreigners, and the rest are postponed. In the absence of surgery until the age of one year, when the correction interval is, the quality and duration of life of children are severely affected.

„I am responsible for the fact that we, the adults, make decisions for beings who cannot oppose.”

He likes it the most in the operating room and says that he feels responsible for every little one whose heart „holds” it in his hand. He would like the system to do more for these children. Unfortunately, any initiative is individual, where there are people who „sanctify the place.” Doctor Horațiu Suciu is constantly coming to Bucharest, to the Monza Hospital, to “repair” a child’s heart. He estimates that another 3 centers like the one in Târgu Mureș would be needed to be able to operate on all the 1,000 children born with heart defects every year. The cases of little ones sent abroad should be an exception, not a rule, and Romanian children should be operated on in Romania by Romanian doctors.

Prof. Dr. Horațiu Suciu:

The child is not a younger adult. This followed me from the beginning when I went to specialize in operating on children. This means that not everything we do in an adult, we do smaller, or we divide by 10 because I know it’s smaller. On the contrary. The child is a very special organism that follows some special rules and with which the medical staff must be familiar. You can’t, for example, do routine work today for an adult and tomorrow for a child. That is why the departments in which children are diagnosed, investigated and treated are separated. And the circuits must be separated. There are certain specific requirements for children. It is not good for children to be operated on with adults. We can also create such centers in the private sector. It would be much less expensive for the Romanian state. It seems to me a much better solution than sending patients abroad. Sending abroad should be an exception and not a rule. The idea is that at this moment the only chance for some children seems to be to go abroad. There is a system problem here. Even if doctors from abroad came to Monza Hospital or other private hospitals in Romania to operate, it would still be cheaper than sending the cases there. A case sent abroad costs the Romanian state between 25 thousand and 50 thousand euros and sometimes up to 100 thousand euros. Even if doctors from abroad came to Monza Hospital or other private hospitals in Romania to operate, it would still be cheaper than sending cases there. A case sent abroad costs the Romanian state between 25 thousand and 50 thousand euros and sometimes up to 100 thousand euros. Even if doctors from abroad came to Monza Hospital or other private hospitals in Romania to operate, it would still be cheaper than sending cases there. A case sent abroad costs the Romanian state between 25 thousand and 50 thousand euros and sometimes up to 100 thousand euros.The costs are enormous. It would be good for Romanian doctors to operate on Romanian children in Romania, regardless of whether it is a private or a state hospital. It is a plus for Romania, it is a plus for patients. Of course we are talking about children, but even children from an early age understand things, even very well. They understand more than we think. 

Romanian doctors must operate on Romanian children in Romania

100 babies need surgery in the first month of birth. The rest in the first year. The increase in diagnostic capacity has greatly increased, but we are lagging behind in the number of surgeries.

” The centers, whether they are private or state, must want these things, these achievements. The fact that some collectives are created is the role of individual initiatives. Because, unfortunately, I say, in our country man sanctifies the place. Normally the system should sanctify the place, but in our country, unfortunately, the system does not exist. Or if there is a bit of anapoda cut. These unresolved children remain in society, some remain with a chance, others die unfortunately. 10% of the 1,000 are emergencies. 100 babies should be operated on in the first month of birth, the rest should be in the first year. I can’t wait for years. Okay, you haven’t had surgery in a year, at least a year and a half, in two years. But you can’t leave it for years. There is an optimal range. In a year’s time, the risks appear, what can you see?it charges our entire medical system. The child must be followed, complications occur, treatments, antibiotics… .all kinds of miracles. A simple operation on time can prevent this overload even with costs. Not to mention the emotional ones with the unresolved child. There is a discrepancy between the increase in diagnostic capacity and the final stage of surgical treatment. Here we are behind the number of surgeries. The big problem is that every year the 300-400 children who remain unemployed are added the following year those who are born. We have a legacy of older children already with correctable malformations. Correctable meaning operated on time, normal life, not finding a solution. I go to school, they do what they can. They have a quality of life as it is,„Says doctor Suciu.

How does he manage to get over the emotional side when he enters the operating room?

The doctor knows the story of each child who has been his patient. She says that it is not easy for her to detach herself emotionally during the surgery, but she has to do it just to give her family back a healthy baby.

Prof. Dr. Horațiu Suciu:

” I try to erase from his memory his features, the conversations with my parents and I focus strictly on that square I see. I look at the operating field and at the heart of which I know what to do. When it’s all over, I think of the cute baby. I must not give in to feelings. This does not mean that I do not love children, but on the contrary it means that I love them. It is important to be able to detach yourself emotionally from them in those moments because all children are beautiful and smart. Feelings can’t dominate you because then things will go wrong. Because this is surgery. With bleeding, cuts a trauma not to be overlooked. All are guided and carried out to reduce the suffering of children and families in the future. The equation is very simple.I am responsible for the fact that we, as adults, make decisions for beings who cannot oppose. We make the decision. This pressures me because, theoretically, we know better what is good for them. Then the problem arises: we really NEED to know better. Children are beings who look at us and think that they know what they are talking about. 

Prof. Dr. Horaţiu Suciu is a primary care physician in cardiovascular surgery and the head of the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and Transplantation in Târgu Mureș. He specializes in pediatric cardiovascular surgery and is one of three doctors in our country who can operate on newborns with congenital heart disease. Also, in 2015, he and his team made the first artificial heart implant in our country.

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