The RCH Advanced Heart Failure Programme: Heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices



Over recent years the number of children with advanced heart failure from cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease receiving treatment has increased considerably. The Royal Children’s Hospital has been the nationally funded centre for heart transplantation in children for 30 years. The RCH heart failure program involves medical, surgical, nursing, allied health and biomedical technology. Successful management of severe heart disease in children requires a detailed understanding of the aetiology, likely disease trajectory and balancing an increasing number of treatment options. This Grand Round will discuss the program for severe heart failure: its history, regulatory structure, circulatory support options, surgical techniques, transplant outcomes, and the multidisciplined research underpinning this program.



Caitlin Elliott is the Nursing Manager in the Cardiology Department.  She is also the National Nursing Chair for the Australian National Standards of Care for Childhood-Onset Heart Disease.  She is a Nurse Practitioner Candidate and through her international experience and leadership, she is driving the introduction of nurse practitioners into the cardiology specialty.

Professor Igor Konstantinov is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon with a PhD in molecular biology and a research background in gene expression and immunology relevant to heart transplantation. His team is focused of age-related difference in immune system in children, and translation of novel genome editing technology to clinical transplantation.

Dr Jacob Mathew is a Cardiologist and heart failure physician. He trained in cardiology at RCH and then in Toronto and Cincinnati. He is the clinical lead of the ventricular assist device programme and is closely involved with all aspects of heart failure management.

Professor Robert Weintraub is a Cardiologist and heart failure physician. He trained at RCH, followed by Harefield Hospital in the United Kingdom and the University of California San Diego Medical Center. His research interests include cardiomyopathy and paediatric cardiac registries. He is the clinical lead for the heart transplant service.


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