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Title:VAD (ventricular assist device) as a bridge to the cardiac transplant patient club” established by TSGH – Sharing the successful VAD experiences of patients with heart failure before transplant.
Published day:2023/8/22

Among top 10 causes of death in Taiwan, cardiovascular disease has been ranked second place for a long time; heart failure is even called "heart cancer". Causes of heart failure include hypertension, coronary artery disease, and cardiomyopathy. Among these diseases, cardiac transplant surgery is the most effective treatment for patients with end-stage heart failure. Due to the very limited number of donor hearts, only around 80 donor hearts are available on average according to statistics of the Taiwan organ sharing registry center, despite there being 200 patients on average waiting for heart transplants every year. With such a short of supply, VAD has become the treatment choice for patients with heart failure as a bridge to heart transplant surgery or while assessing other treatment strategies to buy more time.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Yi-Ting Tsai said that the VAD can be either short-term or long-term to support patients under different conditions. It is designed to help patients with acute and end-stage heart failure through the waiting period before heart transplant surgery. Patients who are not candidates for a heart transplant can also rely on a long-term VAD as their Destination Therapy option and carry the VAD so they can live their lives.

The medical team of Tri-Service General Hospital held a press conference to announce the "VAD as a bridge to the cardiac transplant patient club" on August 22, 2023, and shared a few successful experiences of patient with heart failure using the VAD to buy time before their transplant. One such patient was Mr. Yeh, who came down with acute heart failure in 2020 and was sent to TSGH for an ECMO implemented after emergency rescue. He accepted a temporary VAD to bridge the gap to his heart transplant after nine months of waiting. After surgery, he was discharged and remains stable. The team also shared some other cases, including one patient with chronic heart failure who was able to live a normal life after being discharged with a long-term VAD prior to receiving a heart transplant.

Our Cardiovascular Surgery Department team are very experienced in surgery and medical care so they can rapidly respond to any changes and provide aggressive treatment options for patients. They regularly engage scientific research to provide both domestic and international medical professionals to study and exchange clinical experiences. The team have been recognized and rewarded with the Symbol of National Quality (SNQ). Their innovative technologies and nursing care achievements are highly recognized. The "VAD as a bridge to yr cardiac transplant club" is not only an interactive platform for patients awaiting a heart transplant but also helps facilitate the future development of heart failure treatment and cardiac transplantation in the Asia Pacific region, bringing hope to patients and their families in Taiwan who otherwise would not survive.


ventricular assist device


ventricular assist device


ventricular assist device