Published: Friday, July 13th, 2012

National hospital brings together heart experts
in run up to National Transplant Week

 

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Around 100 heart experts have converged on the Golden Jubilee National Hospital –Scotland’s heart transplant centre – to discuss and explore the future of mechanical hearts.

 

The clinical specialists were at the inaugural meeting of the UK VAD Club – a new group set up to share experiences and establish links betweenUKcentres which implant Ventricular Assist Devices (VADS). VADS, also known as mechanical hearts, are used to support patients requiring heart transplantation.

 

The Golden Jubilee’s VAD service was fully established and launched as part of the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service (SNAHFS) Strategy on 14 February 2011.

 

Last week’s meeting was timed to coincide with the UK VAD Forum meeting and ahead of National Transplant Week, which runs from 9-15 July 2012. Case discussions and presentations from VAD specialists were used to share learning, which will ultimately improve care for this group of seriously ill patients.

 

Attendees from all VAD centres in theUK– including transplant cardiologists, surgeons, anaesthetists, coordinators and perfusionists – shared their clinical knowledge and experience of this low volume, but highly specialised, clinical field.

 

Saleem Haj-Yahia, Consultant Cardiothoracic and Transplant Surgical Lead and Deputy Director of the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service, was integral in bringing the meeting toScotland.

 

He said: “The Club is a way for staff working within theUK’s VAD centres to come together and share their experiences of working within this highly specialised clinical field. We are delighted that so many people were able to attend and get involved in discussions which may shape the development of theUK’s mechanical heart programmes in the years to come.

 

“By sharing best practice we will have better techniques, which will ultimately lead to better care for those patients with the most advanced heart failure.”

 

Jill Young, Chief Executive of the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, commented: “As a national resource for the NHS inScotland, and home to the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service, the Golden Jubilee is delighted to host the first ever meeting of the UK VAD Club and we wish them every success for the future.

 

“We are delighted to be part of the UK VAD club, which will ensure that we are at the forefront of developments that will have a positive impact on the health of this group of patients in the years to come, and to ensure that they receive the best possible care and outcomes.”

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