PLEASE NOTE that in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Heart and Lung Transplant team has created a handy guidance FAQ document available below:
The cardiothoracic transplantation programme is part of the Cardiorespiratory Clinical Unit and has significantly grown in size since its inception in 1988. In 2001 the merger with the Harefield paediatric transplant programme created the largest such unit in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
There have been many innovations during the years from 1988: most children needing lung transplant now have bilateral lung transplants rather than heart and lungs, children with heart failure can be bridged with Berlin Heart devices and ABO mismatch transplants have become possible. Better surveillance with bronchoscopy and intra-vascular ultrasound has been developed. A popular adolescent summer camp has been developed to aid transition to adult services.
We have a good relationship with Newcastle (the country's other paediatric Heart and Lung Transplant Unit) and between us we are utilising all available UK, and some European donors. Donor organs are retrieved by in-zone retrieval teams, Great Ormond Street Hospital have retrieved most of the European organs.
An effective and well-integrated team has been developed over recent years and the transplant service is now deeply embedded in the activity of the Cardiac Unit.
As both referral and activity have increased over recent years, our team has become larger and more robust, providing a base for training and succession planning. The appointment of two dedicated transplant physicians has greatly strengthened the team. Regular reviews of staffing are undertaken, with psychology services being the most recent.