The third part of the series following the patients, families, and clinical teams of Great Ormond Street Hospital aired on Tuesday 22 May at 9pm on BBC2.
‘Buying Time’ deals with the enormous challenges faced by the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Cardiothoracic Transplant Team. Every year the number of child heart donors decreases, thanks to safer roads, better intensive care and a society seemingly reluctant to donate. But fewer hearts means longer waiting times for those children for whom a transplant is the only option.
Consultant Cardiologist Dr Phil Rees tells the programme: “Without donation of an organ children will sadly die waiting. We have no other exit strategy for them other than transplant”.
‘Buying Time’ documents the clinical team as they do everything in their power to keep those children waiting for a heart alive.
The programme tells the stories of three children: 11-year-old Sol, and two-year-olds Holly and Ellie who both arrived in Cardiac Intensive Care in end-stage heart failure.
Sol was born with a severely defective heart and already has a pacemaker, but with the left side of his heart failing the doctors decide to list him for a transplant. The team know that any operation will be at the very limits of what is medically possible.
Two-year-old Holly has been flown in from Ireland after going into sudden heart failure. The doctors decide to put her on a Berlin Heart, while they wait for a possible donor.
Ellie arrives at GOSH after a virus attacked her heart. So far she has spent 104 days on a Berlin Heart. Overnight a heart that is a match for Ellie becomes available, but it is 1,000 miles away.
With the number of hearts decreasing, medicine and technology must evolve quickly to solve the question of how to keep these children alive long enough for them to receive a transplant.
Read an <%$Linker: Internal <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?><dictionary /> 2 214966 0 oLinkInternal interview with Matthew Fenton Buying time - interview with Matthew Fenton false /news/bbc2-documentary-great-ormond-street/buying-time-interview-with-matthew-fenton/ true false%>, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist.
For more information about the series and how you can support the hospital, visit our <%$Linker: Internal <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?><dictionary /> 2 219700 0 oLinkInternal Great Ormond Street documentary series BBC2 documentary, Great Ormond Street false /news/bbc2-documentary-great-ormond-street/ true false