A Lahori medico making waves in US

By Khalid Butt

PAKISTAN talent continues to distinguish itself in the West. An Allama Iqbal Medical College alumnus was recently recognized for his contribution to healthcare by a newspaper in the United States.

The Macon Telegraph featured Dr Ahmed Ijaz Shah (graduate of AIMC class1995-96) a cardiologist serving as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mercer University School of Medicine, who together with a cardiac surgeon used a minimally invasive technique to place a ventricular assist device (Tandem Heart) for the first time in MidJl.le Georgia. The device was used in a critically ill 80 year old female who suffered a heart attack leading to failure of the right ventricle to pump blood to her lungs and causing other parts of her body to shut down.

The ventricular assist device was used to pump blood artificially, bypassing the failed right ventricle of the heart (right ventricular assist .device or RVAD). Given her age and a variety of physical ailments, including low blood pressure and failing kidneys the patient was unlikely to survive open heart surgery.

The device is only used as a short-term fix for a few days which is usually enough time for the patient’s heart to heal on its own while not exposing the patient to the risks inherent with open-heart surgery. The patient’s heart ultimately improved and she was discharged home from the hospital after four weeks.

Dr Ahmad Ijaz Shah is the son of a senior retired Police Officer in Lahore and belongs to a distinguished Lahore family, which has produced some senior and reputed civil servants. His father Syed Ahmad Javed Shad who retired as a Secretary in the Federal Government, had also served on deputation in the senior management of PIA and in diplomatic service abroad, besides a long sting with IB.

His uncle was late S.K. Mahmud, who had risen to the position of Auditor General of Pakistan besides occupying several other top positions in the government.

One wonders whether our Federal Govt. or notably Punjab Govt, headed by Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, keeps track of such Pakistan talent, who are much needed back in Pakistan, seeking to expand and modernrise its healthcare services. Pakistan Observer

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