The little patient started having health problems less than a month after birth, he had problems with drinking, he was short of breath. Subsequently, he was diagnosed with a severe form of cardiomyopathy, a disease in which heart muscle cells are formed incorrectly, the heart is unable to perform the function of a pump and fails. In this case, it was an extremely rapidly progressing disease.
The condition of the little patient deteriorated very quickly, gradually his vital functions had to be supported, first with a breathing apparatus and then with medication by connecting to mechanical heart support, the child was provided with this for the entire 34 days before the transplant.
The system was used for the first time in a child when a donor heart was collected Paragonix SherpaPak, which ensures so-called static hypothermia. The system communicates throughout the transport with the designated team via a mobile application, which displays data on temperature, ischemic time and position and maintains a constant temperature in the range of 4-8 °C. This is considered a key factor in maintaining the highest quality of the donor organ and improving the transplant outcome.
"Brand new the Paragonix SherpaPak system, which increases the protection of the donor organ and thus extends the time for which the organ can be used, allowed us to perform a remote collection without the need to transport the donor to our hospital. This was the case with previous transplants in children on mechanical support. Even so, precise time coordination of the team performing the organ collection with the team of the Children's Cardiocenter, which performed the transplant itself, was necessary." states MUDr. Petr Bukovský, cardiosurgeon of the Children's Cardiocenter of the 2nd Faculty of Medicine of the UK and the Motol Medical Center.
During the operation, a team of experts consisting of cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists and extracorporeal circulation workers had to first disconnect the existing extracorporeal mechanical heart support, then remove the entire diseased heart, and then sew and start the donor heart. The whole operation took more than 8 hours.
"Heart transplantation in such a young child, who is still connected to left-sided mechanical heart support, requires complex logistics of the entire transplant receiving team and coordination center. The operation was successful and we hope that the patient will manage the post-operative course well," says MUDr. Žaneta Bandžuchová, cardiosurgeon of the Children's Cardiocenter of the 2nd Faculty of Medicine of the UK and FN Motol.
Currently, the four-month-old patient is still hospitalized at cardiology department of the Children's Cardiocenter of the 2nd Faculty of Medicine of the UK and Motol General Hospital and is successfully recovering. If there are no complications and if the donated heart does not heal, the long-term prognosis is favorable.
The Children's Cardiocenter of the 2nd Faculty of Medicine of the UK and the Motol University of Applied Sciences is an integrated cardiology-cardiosurgery center with nationwide scope, dealing primarily with the diagnosis and treatment of congenital and acquired diseases of the heart and large vessels, heart rhythm disorders, disorders of cardiac function and blood circulation in growing and developing individuals from the fetal period to 18 years of age. It is also involved in the diagnosis and treatment of adults with congenital heart defects.