Thursday, 17 November 2022

KBC Split First in Croatia to Successfully Perform New Hemodialysis Method

November 17, 2022 - KBC Split was the first clinic in Croatia where hemodialysis by puncturing an endovascularly formed arteriovenous fistula (endo AVF) was successfully performed, all under the supervision of mentor Karen Tullett from Great Britain.

As Index writes, in a 34-year-old patient, on September 22, a percutaneous natural connection of the artery and vein of the forearm was successfully formed for the needs of hemodialysis procedures, with the use of the 4F WavelinQ system, which proved to be safe and effective. The success of the formation of the hemodialysis access with the new method is due to the excellent cooperation of the Department of Nephrology and Dialysis of the Clinic for Internal Diseases and the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology headed by Dr Dijana Borić Škaro and Prof. Dr Krešimir Dolić, members of the team for vascular access in charge of endoAVF interventional radiology assistant Dr Ivana Štula, nephrologist Dr Alena Srdelić and Dr Ivo Jeličić, with the assistance of an instrument technician and a radiological technologist.

Careful selection of candidates

Candidates for this method are carefully selected after excluding potential contraindications, with personal consent after detailed information about the procedure and after ultrasound "mapping" of the blood vessels, which confirms the anatomical suitability of the vasculature for the specified procedure.

Hemodialysis is a treatment method for patients in the final stage of kidney failure. Hemodialysis requires successfully designed and functionally adequate vascular access. Due to the low risk of infection and thrombosis, arteriovenous fistula is the first method of choice (compared to arteriovenous graft and central venous catheter) in most patients. Fifty years ago, an arteriovenous fistula (a connection between an artery and a vein) was formed surgically.

In recent years, with the development of percutaneous endovascular techniques, fistulas are also created by a non-surgical method, minimally invasive, without a visible postoperative scar, which has a high rate of technical success and functionality and a low risk of complications.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Split Hospital Lacking Staff, Bans Contract Termination by Mutual Agreement

October the 13th, 2022 - Split Hospital (KBC Split) is lacking the staff to such an extent that it has taken the rather surprising measure of banning the termination of employment contracts based on mutual agreement.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the decision that N1 received from an employee of Split Hospital, it is clearly stated that "it is forbidden to conclude, by mutual agreement, the termination of an employmer/employee relationship except in the case of the need to conclude it due to the announcement of entry into retirement, as well as in the case of the provision of an employer's consent for the transfer of said employee from one healthcare institution to another for the undertaking of appropriate work."

Furthermore, it is stated that the ban applies to nurses, medical technicians and midwives, with the document stating that this decision will enter into force on the day of publication (which was October the 7th, 2022) and will remain in force until the date on which it is revoked.

"Given the current difficult staffing situation, i.e. the chronic shortage of nurses/technicians and midwives due to high rates of sick leave as well as due to the lack of the aforementioned staff on the labour market, it was necessary to come to this decision,'' it is stated in the explanation of the decision.

In the letter given to 24sata by Split Hospital discussing the details of this matter, they further clarified their decision, emphasising that they're lacking a total of 595 nurses/technicians and midwives and that this decision was made in order to provide the best possible quality of healthcare to those who need it for whatever reason.

"At the same time, there's a shortage of nurses throughout the Republic of Croatia, and our recruitment drives are constantly open to the public. In the aforementioned circumstances, due to the organisation of the services on which the care of patients depends, it is impossible to terminate an employment relationship with the person it regards expecting to be able to leave Split Hospital within a few days.

An employee is of course absolutely free to terminate their employment contract using the institute of the termination of employment while continuing to respect the proper notice period they must give. For this reason, the only motive for making this decision is that the staff member remains at their workplace for as long as it is necessary to reorganise the services being provided following their departure, and thus enable the continuity of care for our patients. In no case is there a right to severance pay, but only in the case when the employer themselves terminates the employment contract,'' Split Hospital explained in the letter.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Project for Construction of Split Hospital Lung Disease Clinic Proposed

March the 29th, 2022 - The proposal for a huge project involving the construction of a Split hospital lung disease clinic has been proposed to the HUP (Croatian Employers' Association) Committee as one of social significance.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the HUP Committee for projects of social importance established for the purpose of affirming the cooperation and solidarity of HUP members through the implementation of projects for the common good, and ultimately for a sustainable future, invited HUP branches in Rijeka, Split, Osijek and Varazdin to send their project applications for projects deemed to be of humanitarian importance.

The Committee has an advisory role to the Council of Members of HUP with the task of organising and implementing projects deemed to be of humanitarian and charitable importance to needy people or organisations that work to help such people, in order to improve the quality of their lives.

The Committee for Projects of Social Importance selected, and the Council of HUP Members confirmed the proposal of the Executive Board of HUP Dalmatia Branch which is a project for the construction of a Split hospital lung disease clinic.

''KBC Split (Split hospital) is strategically important due to its position''

“The population of the whole of Dalmatia and beyond gravitates to Split hospital, so the hospital capacities need to be adjusted to these needs. The fact that the current building of the clinic was built back in 1958 shows that it is absolutely necessary to do this,'' said Zdravko Plazonic, a member of the Executive Board of the HUP Dalmatia Branch, who also thanked the members of the Council of HUP members for choosing this project as a project of social significance for the year 2022.

"Split hospital is strategically important because of its position, we serve a population of about 20 percent of the country's residents, and in the summer that number goes up to 1.5 million. On the stretch from Trieste to Athens, Zagreb and Bari, there is no larger institution or employer. Split hospital has 4,100 employees, most of whom are medical staff. In these extremely demanding times over the past few years, the hospital has managed to remain in function and offer all of its patients the necessary care. We managed to save the system in the challenging and difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic, but we do need help,'' said the director of the hospital, Julije Mestrovic.

"In our work, we mustn't be focused solely on the present day and we do need to think about what we're planning to leave as a legacy to future generations. For many years, the Croatian Employers' Association has been encouraging activities based on the principles of socially responsible business among its members. There is no long-term sustainability of any company without quality and partnership relations with its stakeholders and the responsible disposal of resources,'' said the President of the Council of Members of HUP, Ivan Misetic.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Art Gallery Opened in Split Hospital, Named after Architect Who Designed the Building

February 16th, 2022 - The gallery is named after Zoja Dumengjić, the architect who designed the hospital complex in Firule

It’s not every day that you hear about public medical institutions introducing art into their spaces, but the Clinical Hospital Center (KBC) in Firule, Split did just that by establishing a gallery in its central building.

The Zoja Dumengjić Gallery, named after the architect who designed the hospital complex in Firule, was opened at the ground floor of the central building of KBC Split on February 14th. As reported by Vizkultura, this was a joint project of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists Split (HULU Split) and the KBC Split. The initiative originates from the 41st Split Salon, named Not Completely Lost for Each Other and curated by Ivana Meštrov in collaboration with Ana Janevski.

Bolnica-Firule_Foto-Sonja-Lebos-2019-1200x900.jpgFirule Hospital / Image by Sonja Leboš, UIII Archive

The newly established gallery is introducing itself to the public with its first exhibition, named Retropolis. It’s a project of the Association for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Research (UIII), presented by visual anthropologist and ethnologist Sonja Leboš and visual artists Stella Leboš and Luana Lojić.

Retropolis is dedicated to Dumengjić, the famous architect and designer of the Firule general hospital in Split that opened in 1951.

‘The gallery will be modular and fluid, without a permanent location within the Clinical Hospital Center, and adaptable to the nature and diversity of media featured in contemporary art. However, the Zoja Dumengjić Gallery project is permanent in terms of its long-term intention. Such positive collaborations are truly rare, even in international terms, and make us especially happy as artists’, explained President of HULU Split Vice Tomasović.

Zoja Dumengjić (1904-2000) worked as a designer at the Institute of Hygiene and the School of Public Health in the 1930s, where she specialised in healthcare facilities and was largely inspired by those designed by the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

zoja5-1-1024x893.jpgZoja Dumengjić / Archives of Zoja and Selimir Dumengjić

Dumengjić's work wasn’t entirely unrecognised during her long and prolific career: she won the Viktor Kovačić Lifetime Achievement Award in 1979, and received the Charter of the Split General Hospital in 1984 for her outstanding contribution to the development of the Firule hospital.

Directly inspired by the work of Zoja Dumengjić, the artworks that were displayed at the 41st Split Salon point to the importance of universally accessible architectural design for health. This principle is engrained in the very idea that led to the gallery being established in KBC Split in the first place.

‘I believe that the Zoja Dumengjić Gallery, in cooperation with HULU Split, will operate creatively and achieve long-term success within the KBC; that it will continuously strengthen Zoja Dumengjić's vision of architecture and visual arts in the service of health, but also make our patients and healthcare staff more familiar with the life and work of the architect who designed the Split hospital. I am especially glad that the gallery’s opening on the eve of the KBC Split Day which marks the merging of Firule, Križine and Toplice facilities into a joint institution’, said Dr. Julije Meštrović, director of KBC Split.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Split to Get Medical Research Centre Worth More Than €80 Million

ZAGREB, 9 Feb 2022 - A tender for design documentation for a future medical research centre in Split was presented in the coastal city on Wednesday.

The project to build the centre, which will be located on the premises of the city's Križine Hospital, is worth slightly more than €80 million, including equipment.

The cost of design documentation is slightly less than HRK 8 million, with the entire amount provided by the EU.

The project partner is the Split Faculty of Medicine.

The future 15,500-square-metre Split Medical Research Centre will have eight laboratories - for human genetics, cell and tissue biology, bioinformatics, data analysis and statistics, cardiovascular and lifestyle medicine, tumors, neurodegenerative diseases and neuroscience, regenerative rehabilitation, and for the development of new drugs, devices, and clinical procedures.

The purpose of the project is the establishment of a major research-innovation structure which, officials of the KBC Split Hospital believe, will enhance the quality, scope and relevance of research activities in the field of biomedicine and health care, as well as enable integration with the joint pan-European network.

The future centre is expected to integrate research and clinical work of the Split Faculty of Medicine and the KBC Split Hospital.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

First Croatian Baby of the New Year Was Born in Split!

January 1, 2022 - As is the tradition in many parts of the world, most wonder who will be the first baby to be born in the year, and where. Here, we already know: the first Croatian baby in 2022 is a little girl born in Split.

As reported by, the first Croatian baby to be born in 2022 is a little girl from Split, who came into the world just a minute after midnight. The baby was born by natural childbirth, and her mother is native of the island of Brač. The little one is the fourth child in the family, the fourth girl, and as we are told from the maternity ward, both mom and baby are feeling well.

Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban visited the Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, accompanied by the Director of KBC Split Julije Mestrović and the Head of Department dr. Marko Mimica, and donated a commemorative basket with sweets, and the first-born baby was given a gold coin, this year, with the figure of Marko Marulić.

In 2021, a total of 4410 babies were born in the maternity hospital in Split, which is about 200 more than in the previous year, 2020.

At 1:08 a.m. in the Rijeka maternity hospital, Martina Požarić from Lovran gave birth to a baby girl, Nevija. The first baby from Rijeka born in 2022 weighs 3250 grams and is 49 centimeters long, reports HRT News.

This is the third birth for Mrs. Požarić, with whom she was accompanied by her husband, and it is interesting that she decided to give birth on a chair, sitting in a natural position. According to doctor Barbara Borovac and midwife Tamara Luksetić, the birth went well, the Rijeka Clinical Hospital announced.

The Mayor of Rijeka, Marko Filipović, sent congratulations, flowers, and a special gift to the first baby born in Rijeka in 2022 and to her parents - a silver medal of St. Life.

The traditional New Year's visit of the mayor and his associates to the Rijeka maternity hospital was not held due to compliance with epidemiological measures.

The first baby in the Vukovar hospital was born at 1:15 am. She was born 2760 grams, 48 ​​centimeters long. She is the second baby of Sandra Đurić, and the name of the baby girl is Ana.

The first baby in the Vinkovci County General Hospital was born last night at three hours and twenty minutes. The mother is 28-year-old Ivona Crljić, and the baby's name is Lucija. She was born 3,980 grams and 51 centimeters in length.

Total Croatia News wishes to congratulate parents and their newborns, and we wish them good health!

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 7 November 2021

First Artificial Heart Implant at KBC Split Announced

November 7, 2021 - The first artificial heart implant at KBC Split has been announced by the head of the Split Cardiac Surgery Clinic, Mate Petričević.

The first implantation of an artificial heart has been announced at the Cardiac Surgery Department of the Split Clinical Hospital Center (KBC Split), revealed Mate Petričević, head of the Split Cardiac Surgery Clinic for N1.

Implanting a long-term mechanical circulatory support, i.e., an artificial heart, lasts approximately eight hours, and the first operation in Split will be performed at the Cardiac Surgery Department of KBC Split. This type of operation in Croatia is performed at the Zagreb University Hospital Center, where a team for mechanical circulatory support was formed, of which Petričević was a member until recently.

It is a complex procedure that includes a highly specialized team consisting of a surgeon, anesthesiologist, cardiologist, nurses in the Intensive Care Unit, physiotherapists, and psychologists.

“Hospitals that perform artificial heart implants have the status of centers of excellence in the field of cardiac medicine. Until recently, these types of operations were reserved for only a few centers in the USA and Europe, and soon KBC Split should be on the world map of expert centers for artificial heart implants," says Petričević.

Candidates for artificial heart implants are mostly patients with hearts in the terminal failure phase, i.e., their heart function is dramatically low, and conservative treatment methods are exhausted.

Unfortunately, there are more and more young patients who need it. For them, an artificial heart can serve as a bridge to a heart transplant, while in the elderly, an artificial heart is the final form of treatment without the need for a later transplant.

"Lately, we have been witnessing patients who have had an artificial heart implanted as a bridging therapy until a transplant, but those who are satisfied with an artificial heart later give up the transplant," said Petričević.

After surgery, patients stay in the hospital for three weeks because patient education is a critical aspect of treatment. At the hospital, the patient learns to live with the device to be independent once released. 

Complications most often occur when too much blood-thinning medication is taken, bleeding occurs, or too little is taken, and the clot enters the pump system. In this case, the clot should dissolve or, in the worst case, the device is replaced with a new one.

The pump is a propeller that levitates in a magnetic field and rotates up to ten thousand revolutions per minute. Rotating blood flow is created according to the principle of the Archimedes screw, and this flow is constant, which is why patients no longer have a measurable pulse after an artificial heart is implanted. 

“Previous generations of devices generated pulse flow; however, these types of devices were larger and more complex and therefore more susceptible to failures. Today's technology has reached a high level, and in a few years, I expect that this type of device will have the dimensions of batteries for home use," says Petričević.

If the operation goes well and the therapy is carried out without any complications, the installed device can last for more than 20 years.

Research is currently being conducted, and everything is being documented precisely. The results are encouraging, and Petričević believes it will get even better over time.

“When you consider 10 or 20 years of living with an artificial heart and compare it to the condition of a terminal heart patient who has exhausted the treatment option, it is clear that this is a big step in the treatment of heart disease,” he concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 4 October 2021

Protest Held Outside KBC Split Hospital

ZAGREB, 4 Oct 2019 - Unvaccinated employees of the KBC Split hospital and members of the public on Monday staged a protest outside the hospital in that coastal city, shouting insults at members of the hospital management.

As of today, employees in the healthcare and welfare systems, visitors, and persons accompanying patients have to have digital COVID-19 certificates. All health workers coming to work have to present their COVID-19 certificate showing that they have either been vaccinated or have recovered from the coronavirus infection while others have to undergo testing two times a week.

The protesters outside the KBC Split hospital shouted insults at members of the hospital management, and some started pulling at them. They also shouted insults at reporters in an attempt to prevent them from taking statements from the hospital management.

The protesters said that they were not against vaccination but against being forced to get vaccinated.

One of the emergency medical service employees said the new rules were a form of pressure and that everyone should have the right to choose while one doctor blamed COVID-19 fatalities on the media which, she said, "kept feeding the public such information, and that hospitalized patients were dying of fear, not of coronavirus."

Split-Dalmatia County Assembly deputy head Mate Šimundić was also among the protesters.

Hospital head Julije Meštrović toured the locations on the hospital premises where employees were being tested for COVID-19, noting that everything was well organized and that there was no queuing.

Asked to comment on the protest, he said that protesters had the right to express their opinion and that most of them were not hospital staff but members of the public.

No protests in Rijeka 

The first day of the new epidemiological regime for healthcare and welfare system workers in Rijeka was without problems or protests, with the testing of unvaccinated staff having started over the weekend.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Marathon Swimmer Dina Levačić Planning Humanitarian Swim for KBC Department of Neonatology

August 6, 2021 - Marathon swimmer Dina Levačić will embark on a new humanitarian swimming journey from Vir to Ist to raise funds for the KBC Department of Neonatology.

While the COVID-19 situation has made things a bit more difficult, marathon swimmer Dina Levačić has not taken time to rest. In ten days, on August 13 or 14, Dina will swim a humanitarian marathon from the island of Vir to Ist - a 27-kilometer stretch. In cooperation with the Split Fire Brigade, the action 'Heart for Little Heroes' was launched to help the Split Clinical Hospital Center's Department of Neonatology purchase a special device, reports Dalmatinski Portal

"For me, this season is marked by the coronavirus, just like it is for most athletes. Poljud has always been open to me. I trained without major problems. I had planned to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar, but Spain and Morocco are not in the best situation. I hope that the possibility for that will open by October," said Levačić, and then revealed her latest goal.

"Next weekend I will swim from Vir to Ist. My late grandfather Stipe is from the island of Ist. It is a place where I learned to swim, fell in love with the sea, jumped into the depths for the first time without fear. It is an island that deserves to swim in the world's oceans without fear."

She also revealed plans for the future.

"I hope to swim Gibraltar, even if they let me know two days before. New Zealand, one of the big seven, is also planned. I've been waiting for years for my turn. I don’t know what it will be because New Zealand is closed to everyone except Australia, and it won’t open until the New Year. So I should be swimming in February or March of next year when it is summer there. I hope that their authorities will give in and that I will be able to get there."

She follows the Olympic Games in great detail.

"It’s the only opportunity to see some sports that I don’t have a chance to watch. I know Tonči Stipanović personally. I know how humble he is and how much he lives for sailing. I am thrilled for him, but also all the other athletes. When I watch videos on Facebook, I cry. When you are an athlete, you know how much effort has been put in and how heavy that medal is. Sandra Perković was fourth. Many ‘couch experts’ will say it is a failure, but many would give a hand for such a result. I am glad to see the success of any Croatian athlete."

On behalf of the Split Fire Brigade, Mateo Štrljić revealed how the idea for this humanitarian action was born.

"We came up with the idea to organize a humanitarian action at the fire station. A lot of us went through that department with our kids, and so the idea came to life. We got in touch with Dr. Marija Bucat and found that they need a device for nitric oxide therapy, which makes breathing easier for newborns. Such a device exists in pediatrics, but it is needed immediately after childbirth. The device costs 250,000, and we achieved two-thirds of that amount through various donations. We are grateful that Dina also got involved in the action. We hope to collect the requested amount."

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Nearly 30% of KBC Split Employees Vaccinated: "An Outstanding Response!"

January 20, 2021 - Nearly 30% of KBC Split employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, which is an outstanding response. 

Dalmatinski Portal reports that Dr. Ante Punda, President of the Expert Council of KBC Split, presented how many hospital employees were vaccinated against COVID-19. 

"We had our regular session today, and I can state with satisfaction that all members have been vaccinated, apart from the ones who recently recovered from Covid. They will be vaccinated in the coming period. I thank the ministry and the media for the promotion. KBC is aware of the responsibility; to think of others, we have to think of ourselves.

Thanks to our epidemiological service that conducts vaccination, the response of employees is high. You have seen that epidemiological measures have yielded results. If we are responsible, we will reach the goal of having fewer cases. In three weeks, we vaccinated 1,082 employees, 435 doctors, and 318 nurses; the rest is support staff, our technicians, and laboratory technicians. Now comes the second phase of vaccination. That's about 28.5 percent. All KBC employees are invited. I think that’s a satisfactory figure for the first three weeks. We made the most of the vaccine. That is a respectable figure. We expect that the number of vaccinated will increase as more vaccine doses arrive," said Dr. Punda.

The director of KBC Split, Julija Meštrović, is delighted with the number of vaccinated employees.

"You know how it was said that interest in vaccination at this hospital was minimal. All the vaccine was used. First, those who work in the Covid center were vaccinated. It can't get any better than this. It was done quickly. The response is the best possible. Everyone we could vaccinate was vaccinated. Motivation is very high. The current situation shows this. I don’t know if some don’t want to get vaccinated. What has been achieved is a truly remarkable result. The situation in Croatia is excellent; we must continue to adhere to ongoing measures. The number of hospitalized is decreasing, and because of that, it is becoming easier to work. We have the opportunity to dedicate ourselves to other patients, which is very good," said Dr. Meštrović.

Illustration by Little Shiva

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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