September 5, 2011
In September 2011, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and TERUMO Corporation co-hosted a cardiac catheterization surgery training for Mexican physicians as public-private partnership training. The training was conceived when TERUMO submitted their proposal to the scheme "Public-Private Cooperation for Accelerated Growth" of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Over five days from September 5 to 9, 2011, five young physicians were invited from national medical institutions in Mexico, particularly from public hospitals that focus on cardiovascular medicine, to receive training on transradial coronary intervention (TRI), a technique for inserting a catheter through a blood vessel in the wrist. With the cooperation from Shonan Kamakura General Hospital, which has the world's leading doctor practicing TRI, the five doctors attended the operation of TRI and attended lectures to deepen the understandings of TRI technique. Also they actually practiced the technique using a TRI simulator at Terumo Medical Pranex so that they can also practice the technique using the knowledge acquired. The TRI technique shortens the duration of hospitalization and lowers costs and risks of operation compared with the conventional catheter techniques, making it less of a burden for the patient not only physically but financially as well. If these doctors, who have acquired the expertise and techniques for TRI in this training, are able to extend the use of TRI in Mexico, it is expected that deaths due to ischemic heart disease will also decrease.
Ischemic heart disease occurs when blood is not fed normally due to blockage in the coronary artery that sends blood to the heart, rendering the heart incapable of maintaining its pumping function. In Mexico, ischemic heart diseases (angina pectoris and myocardial infarctions) are the second largest cause of death, killing approximately 60,000 people per year. The conventional treatment for ischemic heart disease is cardiac bypass surgery, in which the heart is exposed for a long period of time and connections are made between blood vessels. Bypass surgery, however, involves a significant burden on the patient's body, and in recent years, a cardiovascular catheter treatment for improving blood flow has replaced the operational method as a safer and less demanding operational technique. In that technique, a catheter (thin tube) with a balloon is inserted into the body to the coronary artery and the blocked portion of the blood vessel is then expanded. In Mexico, a traditional method of cardiac catheterization in which insertion is performed at the hip joint is popular, but in Japan, the TRI technique has gained a major position, mitigating the physical burden on the patient and decreasing the risk of complications.