Paediatric left ventricular assist device and heart transplantation – a single centre experience
The fate of children with end-stage heart failure requiring transplantation in South Africa still remains dismal in 2020 due to the scarcity of available donor hearts, shortage of requisite expertise and lack of funding. This situation is worst for the younger and smaller sized children who cannot make it into the adult programmes utilising hearts of smaller sized donors. The introduction of the left ventricular assist device programme into one of the private hospitals in Johannesburg, Gauteng, as a bridge to heart transplantation gave some of these children a fighting chance and a return to some semblance of function while awaiting a new heart. The challenges faced when setting up such a programme are immense, the procedure itself is arduous and the kids face multiple trials and tribulations during the waiting period until they receive a new heart.
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