News release on paediatric programme at SA Heart Congress 2015

Dedicated programme for paediatric cardiologists throughout SA Heart Congress 2015

Paediatric cardiology will feature prominently at SA Heart Congress 2015, with a dedicated track running daily from Sunday, 25 – Wednesday, 28 October, at Sun City in North West Province.

A wide spread of important interventional and surgical aspects will be covered during the congress, with delegates benefiting from the input of international experts, Dr Naser Ammash (Mayo Clinic, USA), Associate Professor Christian Brizard (Australia) and Dr Elchanan Bruckheimer (Israel). Local faculty will include heads of cardiology at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath, the University of KZN, Walter Sisulu University and the University of the Free State.

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Post-graduate course on paediatric heart failure

The paediatric programme commences on Sunday afternoon, October 25, with a pre-congress post-graduate course focusing on paediatric heart failure. A workshop format will be used to generate open discussion with prominent local paediatric cardiologists who will review important new approaches and therapies becoming available for children with cardiac failure.

Dr Ammash will highlight advances in echocardiography that are being used to evaluate and monitor heart failure in adults, and may also be of benefit to children. Modern treatment with biventricular pacing will be discussed, with Associate Professor Brizard ending the session by giving a perspective on the surgical advances available for treatment – from left ventricular assist devices to cardiac transplant.

The AGM for the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa (PCSSA) will be held immediately after the course from 17h00 – 18h00, with the Congress being officially opened at 18h00, followed by a “Night Food Market Theme ” and trade preview in the Superbowl from 19h00 – 21h00.

The African Perspective

On Monday, 26 October, the opening plenary Ethics Session of the Congress will focus on service delivery, training and research perspectives pertinent to paediatric cardiology in South Africa.

Children’s Hearts inSight

In the combined paediatric cardiology-cardiothoracic sessions of the congress, modern interventions and surgical methods will be reviewed and the latest data explored.

In the GE-imaging session on Monday afternoon, practical applications of modern 3-dimensional echocardiography will be addressed and Dr Bruckheimer, a leader in rotational and 3-dimensional angiography will share his experience with delegates. A step-by-step demonstration on how to do foetal cardiac ultrasound will be given by Dr Jeff Harrisberg and Dr Ammash will also highlight aspects in the echocardiographic evaluation of an athlete’s heart.

On Tuesday, October 27, the paediatric session from 08h30 – 10h25 will focus on the best treatment for aortic coarctation in all age groups and look at world registries. Associate Professor Brizard will also shed light on the surgical components of these difficult to treat conditions.

The session from 11h00 – 12h30 will feature a potpourri of topics, with the focus on Tuesday afternoon being on double outlet right ventricles (14h00 – 15h30).

A number of local researchers will share their findings in between talks. There will be an interesting provisional report on eye abnormalities found in paediatric cardiologists due to radiation exposure, as well as an excellent presentation on the outcome of radiofrequency ablation in a group of South African children.

The congress ends on Wednesday, October 28 at midday with a focus on the vexing and difficult to treat problem of pulmonary hypertension in children as well as practical “How do I perform…” sessions presented by prominent local interventionists.

For full programme details, and to register for SA Heart Congress and the pre-congress post-graduate course, visit For queries, contact Europa Organisation Africa on (011) 325 0020, or email

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