The Inherited Metabolic Diseases (IMD) Program
The IMD program at AUBMC is the first and only comprehensive program for inherited metabolic disorders in Lebanon. It provides clinical evaluation, metabolic diagnostic investigations and treatment for babies, children, adolescents and adults who have inherited metabolic diseases (also known as inborn errors of metabolism). The program has diagnosed and treated more than 1700 patients suffering from IMD during the past 16 years. The IMD team includes pioneer specialists in Lebanon, offering state-of-the-art, comprehensive joint care for the IMD patients: The IMD clinical specialist (Dr. Pascale Karam) and the IMD skilled dietitian (Mrs. Abir Barhoumi) who both carry the knowledge and experience of 16 years of practice in the field of inborn errors of metabolism. Diagnostic metabolic tests can be performed at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine-Clinical Chemistry Laboratory at AUBMC. The program provides a multidisciplinary approach to all IMD patients, in collaboration with other highly specialized programs at AUBMC (such as neurology, psychology, cardiology, ophthalmology). Services and Procedures: All the required expertise to diagnose and treat a wide variety of inherited metabolic diseases are available:
- Inherited metabolic disorders detected by newborn screening
- Amino acid disorders, such as: phenylketonuria, tyrosinemia, urea cycle defects, maple syrup urine disease, homocystinuria, etc.
- Organic acid disorders, such as: methylmalonic acidemia, propionic acidemia, isovaleric academia.
- Lipid Acid disorders/Fatty acid oxidation defects
- Lysosomal storage disorders
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The Child Protection Program (joint program with the Department of Psychiatry)
The Child Protection Program, established in 2014, is a multidisciplinary program consisting of a team of pediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, nurses, risk managers, and bioethicists. The aim of this program is to provide clinical services for patients suffering from child abuse and child neglect, and train professionals to screen and manage cases of child abuse or neglect. The Program has three subdivisions:
The clinical unit is composed of a multidisciplinary team of experts and provides direct clinical services to patients and caregivers, and consultations to other health care professionals dealing with these patients. Services include follow-up of the cases and possible referrals to other professionals and organizations. The program works in close collaboration with national bodies involved in child protection.
Education and Training
- Provision of education and training to hospital staff, trainees, and community partners and NGOs about child abuse and neglect and child protection.
- Design and conduct sensitivity training for all staff at AUBMC and the community
- Develop educational material and visual aids about child abuse and neglect and child protection at AUBMC and the community, and develop a website for the center with useful links
Development of policies and procedures
- Raise community awareness about child abuse and child neglect prevalence and the availability of services and professionals dealing with these cases, to stake holders in the community and to key people who are in settings amenable to having child abuse cases.
- Develop and review policies related to the protection of children within the hospital and within the community.
- Ensure compliance with JCI standards for example the policy pertaining to assessment of children for possibility of child abuse or neglect to comply with JCI standard AOP.1.8.
- System for tracking and follow-up of cases
- Develop guidelines and training for all staff (security, nursing, others) for communication with patients and caregivers and how to maintain the child in the hospital while the CPC assessment is finalized
- Develop programs for child protection awareness and prevention of abuse in the community and eventually replicating the AUBMC model of child protection. Presentations were given in KMC and Nabatieh Hospital already.
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- Conduct research on child well-being topic that will feed into the center’s programs and contribute to knowledge and evidence –based practices in the field of child abuse and child protection.
The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program launched in 2017 at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), headed by Dr. Jana Assy with a professional team of multidisciplinary backgrounds including intensivists, cardio-thoracic surgeons, trauma surgeons, cardiologists, perfusionists, anesthesiologists, and nursing team. This is the first ECMO Program established in Lebanon that aims at providing cutting-edge medical technologies serving patients with acute cardiac and respiratory problems in Lebanon and the region. Since its establishment in “2015”, the ECMO program have accommodated for 15 patients from the neonatal, pediatric, and adult population. On December 09, 2017, the ECMO Program in collaboration with the Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) organized the first Neonatal, Pediatric, and Adult ECMO Meeting in Lebanon that took place in Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut. The meeting hosted guest speaker, Professor Robert Bartlett, an emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Michigan, and establisher of extracorporeal life support organization (ELSO),who is credited with developing the lifesaving heart-lung technology known as (ECMO) and was attended by a host of specialists involved in the care of the critically ill patients. The ECMO program reported yet an additional achievement when it performed the first successful air transport of a patient supported by ECMO from Lebanon to Belgium by the kind assistance of “Qatar ECMO Transport Medical Team”.