A medical team at the Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah has successfully carried out the first artificial heart transplant in the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, ruler of Dubai and vice president of the UAE, congratulated the team for the medical breakthrough on Twitter Thursday: "Congratulations to the Ministry of Health for this successful surgery. It is the first artificial heart transplant in the UAE and it saved the life of a 21-year-old Emirati.”
The procedure was carried out Monday but only announced Thursday, according to The National .
The head of Al Qassimi's cardiology department, Dr. Aref Al Nooriani, told The National that the patient had been admitted on June 11 with severe heart, kidney and liver failure. The patient is now recovering.
The patient was fitted with a Ventricle Assist Device, a mechanical pump which boosts blood circulation and is used when a heart transplant is not an option for patients. The VAD has been used for several decades, but will now be an option for critical patients in the UAE who do not have enough time or are not stable enough to travel abroad for the surgery.
The UAE has invested significantly in the medical field, bringing in international doctors and opening facilities affiliated with renowned institutions, such as the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, as a part of its push to modernize all sectors of its economy.