Perfusion South Korea: An Interview with Lee Jinkwon

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Lee Jinkwon of South Korea

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Sejong general hospital was founded in 1982.

In 1987, the hospital has developed an artificial heart for the first time in Korea, and transplanted it into a calf with a 45 days maintenance record (which has not yet been broken in Korea).

The quality of medical and surgical treatment of patients with heart diseases in Sejong hospital is constantly improving. Sejong general hospital’s success rates in heart surgeries has been ranked top in Korea, and at the highest ranks worldwide.

In Sejong hospital, there are three factors that contribute to the success in patients care:

First, the hospital invests in clinical and basic research, and the education of its medical and service staff;

Second, the hospital employs a 24 hours collaboration system; bridging together specialists from related departments, to form close cooperation within the staff’s different departments.

The third point that makes Sejong hospital successful is the hospital’s investment in top-notch medical equipment and provision of highest standard facilities for treatment of heart diseases.

By the end of 2010, Sejong hospital’s medical staff has exceeded 50,000 cases of cardiac catheterization. Approximately 1000 international patients underwent cardiac surgeries at Sejong (466 were from China), while maintaining a very high success rate, at 99.8%.


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Lee Jinkwon

I met Lee on Facebook- here is a link to his FB page- https://www.facebook.com/jinkwon.lee.7

So anyway- having so little information about perfusion as it is practiced in Asia, I decided to ask Lee to do an interview for Surfers– and he agreed.

So here it is 🙂

The Life of Lee

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The Interview:

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Q1

Describe your life when you first engaged medicine, what made you decide to go into perfusion, what were the circumstances for getting into a perfusion program ?

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Jinkwon

When I have started hospital work I was a Cardiac Surgery Part ICU Nurse.

I thought this job is rewarding experience but it is hard work because of three-shift system.

I had wanted to do something stable and meaningful work. Finally I found the opportunity to join perfusion position of Se-Jong Hospital.

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Q2

Where do you / have you  practiced perfusion?  If outside of your own country- then why ?

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Jinkwon

I know that almost perfusionists are trained by big 5 hospital which have about 1000 cardiac surgery cases a year. Se-Jong hospital is one of them. Our hospital has fostered a lot of perfusionists every year and now they are working in field of Korea. Also I was trained from Se-Jong hospital.

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Q3

Tell me about the places you have worked, your equipment that you use, how you conserve resources, how patients are selected (ability to pay- is it an issue) ?

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Jinkwon=

Here is our main equipment such as below machines.

3 Heart-Lung machines(2 Polystan, 1 Sarns9000, 1 Stockert S3 and 2 Medtronic Perfomer CPB)

4 Centrifugal pumps(1 Bio-pump540, 2 Bio-pump550, 1 Bio-pump560)

3 cell saver such a Autolog of Medtronic

3 VAVD machines of Marquet

1 EBS of Terumo

I think that we are one step behind in the latest medical tech or product because of the medical insurance system of Korea. Some of the newest product cannot be penetrated in Korea due to high price of product. And Korea patients can choose hospital what they want. Some people who need to financially support can get a proper treatment via social welfare organs.

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Q4

Discuss the physician perfusion relationship.  Is it relaxed, formal, how do you interact when you need to give meds or make adjustments while on bypass?

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Jinkwon

Many doctors’ in Korea have various careers and also have character. In our hospital case we respect each other and we can talk quite freely.

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Q5

What is your impression of medicine in America (please be honest) as compared to medicine in Korea ?

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Jinkwon

Well… I don’t know exactly about oversea conditions. Perfusionist in Korea has rare chance to communicate with other country perfusionist.

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Q6

Discuss your techniques regarding blood management, use of plavix, Novo7, platelets, FFP and Cryo.

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Jinkwon

I can’t understand exactly your question.

To operate bypass circuit we don’t use blood derivatives such a Plavix and Novo7.

I think we should always keep to the basics for blood management. To keep proper ACT value, To minimize blood sheet stress. Well…  It’s difficult to explain detail.

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Q7

Give me your opinion on how blogs, youtube, facebook, and twitter affect perfusionists- and any direction you see that is attainable for instant communication to help each other across the globe?

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Jinkwon

Anything will be fine. Just I think it’s important to broadcast for people who need to information.

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Q8

You use FB a lot.  Do you prefer that medium to perfusion forums?  Do you use perfusion forums such as the  FB group- Gruppo dei Perfusionisti ? What direction do you think perfusionists are you headed with that?

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Jinkwon

FB is just my individual material space. I have never try to contact with oversea perfusion friend. I am very interested in article of pediatric bypass. But I feel the limit of my English skill. That’s my homework.

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Q9

What would be your goals for international perfusion communication?

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Jinkwon

To save lives I would like to share a variety of opinions and knowhow with all people over the world.

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Q10

I know you are visiting China soon.  Have you ever watched open heart surgery there?  How does it compare to the way we do things?

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Jinkwon

This visiting was individual trip. I think that medical technology of China is very different depending on the location. And I can’t define the level of medical technology because I have experience just one hospital visiting. I heard some hospital in Shanghai have many Cardiac Surgery cases and also they have a good record.

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Q11

Is preventive medicine more prevalent in Asia than in the West?

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Jinkwon

Well… I have no idea about that.

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Q12

Do you have any questions for me?

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Jinkwon

I want to know where I can find information about pediatric bypass. I am very interested in minimize priming and bloodless surgery. And also I want to know about you because I don’t know you. Where from? Where is your work area? How many experiences do you have? And please let me know detail about circuit surfer.

Thanks

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Well first of all Lee- i want to thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview.  I think we can all learn so much about one another.

As for me, I have been a Perfusionist for 23 years.  I have pumped in 30 programs, Canada, Hawaii, and most of the upper Midwest region.  I am a former United States Navy Corpsman, was attached to the Marines for a bit, and lived in the Republic of the Philippines for almost 2 years.

I currently live in Texas and have 5 children- (4 are adopted).

I did the blog thing initially because I wanted to write it down.  I wanted to write something that was perfusion and the human equation part of it.

It started out as a directory for perfusion related topics.  Very dry stuff- but important information to people that may not have the resources or professional affiliations to get that info quickly.

I’m talking about our other perfusion friends in smaller countries around the world (have had 136 countries come to visit).

Then it morphed into something else.  What that something else is- I do not know.  But for some reason it just feels right.

Frankie @ work

I don’t know where that conviction comes from, but it just seems like my gut instinct on writing this stuff is that it’s there to serve a greater  purpose.  Who knows what that truly means, but I trust my instincts.

The fact that it’s not for profit is exhilarating in terms of the freedom it confers on the blog.

So enough about me.   Again I thank you very much 🙂

Frank

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