The first temperature-controlled pediatric heart transplant – Medicine

(ANSA) – ROME – A small heart weighing 60 grams has saved the life of a child who was hospitalized for several months at Baby Jesus Hospital. It is the first transplant in Italy in which an innovative heart transfusion system has been used – at the pediatric level. exact temperature. The system ensures a constant organ temperature of 5 degrees and, through a dedicated app, allows physicians involved in the transplant to follow the geolocation of the transport and monitor the heart’s temperature remotely. The child who received the organ had restrictive heart disease.

It was necessary to support the child with a mechanical assist device (artificial heart). His current condition is good and he has already been discharged from the hospital.

The SherpaPak CTS Cardiac Transfer System, which has been developed for several years by an American company and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and CE marked in the European Union, consists of several components. The exterior consists of a transport stand that contains various temperature-controlled packing elements.

At the heart of the system is a hard shell in which the heart is submerged and suspended in a cold storage solution to transport donor hearts. The presence of dry ice on the outside of the container ensures a constant temperature of about 5 °C to avoid excessive cooling of the core that could damage the cells. The data logger monitors and displays the temperature of the solution in which the heart is immersed during transport between operating rooms and allows the medical team involved in the transplant to monitor it along the way. There are also similar organs for the transfer of other organs: the lung, the liver.

“The most important advantage – says Antonio Amodio, head of the department of prosthetics, transplantation and mechanical assistance to the heart and respiratory system of Baby Jesus – is that within this system you never reach temperatures below two degrees, as can happen in conventional transportation. Risk of freezing parts from the surface of the heart by maintaining a constant temperature of the entire organ. It is known, in fact, that temperatures below two degrees cause damage to the cellular structure of the heart.”

The system is already in use in some European hospitals while in Italy it has only been used on some occasions to transfer organs to adults. That baby Jesus was the first temperature-controlled transfer in Italy of a transplanted heart to a baby.

“Bambino Gezo Hospital – concluded Amodio – has chosen to invest in the most advanced technology, as well as in scientific research, because it is largely responsible for providing answers to families with a sick child suffering from the tragedy of heart transplant waiting lists. Our responsibility also extends to the families of donors whose great generosity represents A precious gift that should never be compromised.”


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