Posted on May 03, 2015

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently hosted a symposium, the first of its kind in the region, bringing together distinguished experts from the UK, the United States and Qatar, to discuss international best practices and advances in community-based care.

Organized by the Pediatric Department at Hamad General Hospital (HGH), the event convened approximately 300 attendees, comprising of physicians, nurses, and other allied health professionals and highlighted the latest advances and updates in the field of Home Parenteral Nutrition (HPN). It featured state-of-the-art lectures and presentations from local and international speakers covering the spectrum of services in HPN and emphasizing the role of interdisciplinary collaboration among healthcare professionals in promoting successful outcomes.  

Parenteral nutrition is a special life-saving approach used to provide intravenous nutrition to individuals whose digestive systems are unable to absorb, or tolerate, adequate food eaten by mouth. Once the child is stable and no longer needs hospitalization, the recommendation is to provide parenteral nutrition at home by the HPN service. HPN involves training the families and caregivers to administer this form of nutrition using portable pumps.

Dr. Kamal Osman Hassan, head of the pediatric gastroenterology (GI) section at HGH and the chief organizer of the conference, highlighted: “HPN is generally provided by private homecare companies. Since there were no such companies available in Qatar and the region, an innovative approach was developed by HMC in 2011 and was fully implemented last year. It is the first pediatric homecare service to be introduced in the Gulf region. Under the program, long-term pediatric patients receiving intravenous nutrition at the hospital are transferred to their homes once their parents and caregivers are adequately trained and educated about how to use the specialized feeding equipment.”

HMC symposium focuses on home 2 [].jpg“Highly-specialized nurses from HMC’s Home Healthcare Service conduct regular visits to patients’ homes and provide round-the-clock assistance through a telephone helpline in order to ensure safe use of the equipment and to provide any additional medical assistance and support required by families,” he added. Commenting on the significance of the conference, Dr. Hassan stated: “This conference stemmed from our ambition to provide the best possible care to the patients and families benefiting from the HPN program. It served as a platform for international and local healthcare professionals working in this area to discuss international best practices and advances in community-based care, with the ultimate aim to improve the quality of life for patients.”

According to Dr. Hassan, the HPN service focuses on creating a positive experience for the young children receiving this special nutrition as it diminishes many of the negative impacts of prolonged hospital stays, such as depression, anxiety, and delayed development. One of the parents availing of the HPN service, Mrs. Taghrid Yousif, mother of two-year-old Maab, commended the program. “I am very thankful to HMC for all the support that they have extended to my daughter and our family under this service. We are now able to enjoy more quality time together since Maab doesn’t need to stay under the supervision of the doctors around-the-clock. Nurses from HMC come to our home every week and monitor Maab’s condition by performing the necessary tests. It is really comforting to have this kind of ongoing support,” she stated. 

The conference concluded with gifts of appreciation being presented to HPN patients, and their families, for their hard work and commitment in working together with the HPN program staff at HMC.