THOMSON Hospital Celebrates Paediatric Excellence In Conjunction With World Children’s Day

Award-winning THOMSON Hospital Kota Damansara notched historic achievements in paediatrics this year, including performing its first Kasai and Myasthenia surgeries and being the first hospital in Southeast Asia to administer Spinraza to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 – In conjunction with World Children’s Day, THOMSON Hospital Kota Damansara is reinforcing its commitment to providing the high standards of medical care for children, contributing to a brighter and healthier future for the next generation.

THOMSON Hospital was recently awarded Advanced Paediatrics Service Provider of the Year in Asia-Pacific at the Global Health Asia-Pacific Awards 2023.

The private hospital in Kota Damansara, Selangor, performed its first Kasai surgery in January 2023 on a 62-day-old infant. Kasai surgery, or portoenterostomy, is performed on infants with biliary atresia to allow for bile drainage. The 1-year-old baby is now well with jaundice clearance.

A month later, THOMSON Hospital performed its first thymectomy for myasthenia gravis on a 9-year-old girl. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes muscle weakness, mostly the muscles in one’s eyes, face, neck, arms, and legs.

Malaysia Now Equipped For Complex Surgeries On Children

First thymectomy for myasthenia gravis performed at THOMSON Hospital on February 17, 2023. Photo by THOMSON Hospital Kota Damansara.

Consultant paediatric surgeon Dr Zakaria Zahari said Malaysia now has the specialisation to perform complex surgeries on children and selected private hospitals are equipped to perform these surgeries.

“When we perform surgery on children, we also have to think about the long-term results to have a good quality of life as adults,” explained Dr Zakaria.

THOMSON Hospital was also the first hospital in Southeast Asia to administer Spinraza (nusinersen) to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare genetic disease, for a five-year-old Sarawakian. Spinraza is a disease-modifying treatment that can improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with SMA.

THOMSON Hospital CEO Nadiah Wan said it is proud to be at the forefront of these advancements in paediatric care. As part of TMC Life Sciences Berhad, a leading women and children’s health care group, THOMSON Hospital is dedicated to achieving new milestones in paediatrics.

“In progressing towards enhancing our children’s services, we aim to introduce treatment options for more targeted and effective care, and realising our vision to empower people in leading healthier lives through accessible, accountable, and sustainable health care,” said Nadiah.

What Do Paediatricians Do?

First Kasai surgery performed at THOMSON Hospital on January 24, 2023. Photo by THOMSON Hospital Kota Damansara.

Paediatricians and other specialists dealing with children are physicians that specialise in disorders that affect babies, children and teens. It is often believed that children speak a language of their own, one that adults sometimes have difficulty comprehending.

Patient, gentle and trained to recognise distress in their young patients, THOMSON Hospital’s paediatric team sees beyond a child’s physical pain, offering solace to both children and anxious parents.

Paediatricians carry out a broad array of health-associated services that cover health and wellness tests to the treatment of complicated medical issues, including physical examinations, child vaccinations, treatment of injuries and dislocations, assessment of a child’s physical and mental development, administration of medication, diagnosis and treatment of various child health ailments, and performing surgeries and treatment for complex medical cases.

Paediatric doctors go through further education and training in special diagnostic and treatment activities. For example, a child cardiologist has thorough knowledge and training in handling heart problems in minors. They may also possess extra qualifications to carry out different kinds of heart tests and activities.

A primary care paediatrician may not possess the special knowledge or training to handle complicated medical conditions in children and may refer parents to the most suitable specialist for extra evaluation and treatment.

Paediatric medicine differs from adult medicine in several aspects. Firstly, the much smaller size, weight and structure of a baby or child is evidently different from that of an adult. Birth defects, genetic conditions and developmental problems are of higher concern to paediatricians than doctors who treat adults.

Making Every Child Feel Valued, Heard, And Empowered

THOMSON Hospital is committed to advancing children’s health care. Photo by THOMSON Hospital Kota Damansara.

There are also multiple legal aspects involved in paediatrics. Children are considered not mature enough to make decisions for themselves. The concerns of privacy, legal responsibility and educated consent should always be taken into account in every paediatric process.

“Our commitment is not just to treat but to create an environment where every child feels valued, heard, and empowered. Together, we are shaping a future where children can thrive, not just survive,” said consultant paediatrician Dr Priadarshini Somasundaram.

“In our pursuit of excellence in paediatric care, staying at the forefront means embracing innovation, investing in cutting edge technologies, and fostering a culture of continuous learning. Our commitment to children’s health drives us to push boundaries, ensuring that every child who walks through our doors receives high quality of care.”

Children may see a paediatrician if their general physician seeks a specialist opinion on the child’s development and health or believes that the child needs special treatment.

The general physician may refer the child to a paediatrician for further testing and treatment in relation of poor development, allergies/ asthma, developmental delay, brain issues, for example epilepsy, seizures, sleep difficulties, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), behavioural issues, mental disabilities (for example, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy), constipation, incontinence and autism.

A paediatrician may also check on babies right after birth to ensure he or she is healthy.

THOMSON Hospital’s Specialists In Paediatrics In Cardiology, Neonatology, Neurology, Surgery, Anaesthesiology, Ophthalmology

THOMSON Hospital is the first hospital in Southeast Asia to administer Spinraza for spinal muscular atrophy. Dr Sivakumaran Jayaram, Chief Operating Officer (Clinical) of THOMSON Hospital Kota Damansara (fourth from left), Dr Foo Sze Yuen, consultant paediatric anaesthesiologist (fifth from left) and Dr Sangita Dharshini Terumalay, consultant paediatrician & paediatric neurologist (third from right), with supporting pharmaceutical and medical staff after administering Spinraza for an SMA patient in July 2023. Photo by THOMSON Hospital Kota Damansara.

Children undergoing surgery need an entirely different set of management protocols because of their smaller size and more vulnerable conditions. The good thing, however, is that children tend to heal faster.

THOMSON Hospital’s paediatric surgeons look into not just the surgical aspects but also take into account our young patients’ physical and mental state, while reassuring parents or guardians.

A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is available at THOMSON Hospital for premature babies born before 37 weeks. In Malaysia, about 12.3 per cent of deliveries in Malaysia are premature births, according to THOMSON Hospital.

The common issues faced by premature babies include respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal problems; infections; jaundice; and anaemia.

THOMSON Hospital has experienced specialists in paediatrics, including in paediatric cardiology, paediatric neonatology, paediatric neurology and paediatric surgery. The hospital also has a paediatric anaesthesiologist and a paediatric ophthalmologist.

The hospital’s multidisciplinary team of paediatric experts provide comprehensive and holistic care, ensuring optimal health outcomes for children. By embracing innovative technologies and treatments, THOMSON Hospital delivers effective health care that will positively impact the lives of children.

THOMSON Hospital’s paediatric unit is adorned with vibrant colours, playful themes, and dedicated spaces for children to feel comfortable and at ease during their health care journey.

THOMSON Hospital also has other health educational videos related to babies and children, such as baby nutrition and sleep, childhood vaccination, and mental health.

As we celebrate World Children’s Day, let us recognise the importance of a healthy childhood and our children’s general wellbeing to ensure every child receives quality healthcare, setting the stage for a healthier, happier, and more vibrant future.

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