Pediatric heart transplant operations to resume in Sydney

Amanda Huck is One of two Sydney heart patient mothers campaigning for transplant services in New South Walesshares her story sun herald paper March. Daughter Scarlett, now 16, suffered two sudden cardiac arrests as a result of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (thickening of the heart muscle) and is one of five transplant patients to receive a transplant at the hospital in 2021. I was alone.

Hack said it was clear that the best results were obtained when young patients were treated closer to home.

“It means my family is together. My husband has a job so he has an income. If I had to move to Melbourne for three months, I wouldn’t have done that,” she said. said.

“When you are going through such a traumatic event, getting to know a whole new healthcare system and staff brings added pressure and difficulty. is the same as

Between 1 and 3 children have died each year in New South Wales for the past five years. He was too ill to transfer or his family could not move between states.

When it was decided that Scarlett needed a transplant, Ms. Huck was told that her chances of surviving the flight to Melbourne were “extremely slim.”

Huck welcomed the decision to conduct more transplants in Sydney, but hoped the service would be expanded soon.

Westmead Children’s Hospital has been the subject of criticism in recent months, raising concerns about its ability to retain highly skilled staff.

Dr. Yishai Orr, a pediatric surgeon who spearheaded heart transplants in 2021, said: Since leaving Sydney for duty in the United States.

Her retirement leaves the Sydney Children’s Hospital network with only three cardiac surgeons, two in Westmead on-call every two days to cover emergency cardiac cases, and a statewide pediatric ECMO (cardiopulmonary ECMO). bypass) services and Randwick has one who provides limited cardiac services. .

The network’s director of clinical operations, Dr. Joan Ging, said the theater in question opened last week.

Jin said the transplant will be performed by Dr. Ian Nicholson, the network’s director of cardiothoracic surgery, and Dr. Matthew Liavaa, who were involved in the 2021 transplant. The hospital is now recruiting a third pediatric heart surgeon, prioritizing her transplant experience, she said.

“It’s a big team. It’s not just surgeons, it’s also intensivists and anesthesiologists…we’ve been building teams with transplants in mind,” she said.

Nicholson said it was “a dream for many on our team” to provide comprehensive pediatric transplant services in Sydney.

“Seeing this coming to fruition is exciting not only for us as clinicians, but also for the children and families who rely on our treatments.”

Jin said the establishment of the service should serve as a reminder for people to discuss organ donation with their families.

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