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20/05/2018 - 07:26

The journey of a heart transplant across Vietnam 

On May 18, Prof. Dr. Pham Nhu Hiep, Director of Hue Central Hospital announced the heart transplant for a 52-year-old male patient was successful.

It was a journey of all the people having hearts of gold, close coordination between Hue Central Hospital, the National Coordination Center for Organ Transplantation, Viet Duc Hospital (Vietnam-Germany Hospital), Vietnam Airlines and family members of the organ donor. The donated heart made a trip of nearly 700 km, arrived in Hue just in time and has "regenerated" in the chest of the 52-year-old male patient.

This is the third time Hue Central Hospital has performed a heart transplant successfully, but it is the first time to receive the donated organ from a hospital nearly 700 km north of Hue.

On May 15, having received the news from Viet Duc Hospital, Hue Central Hospital sent a team of doctors to Hanoi to coordinate and assess the compatibility between the donor’s organ and the recipient in Hue. At 3:00 am on May 16, when the results showed that the cross-match test result was compatible with the recipient in Hue, the National Coordination Center for Organ Transplantation decided to allow Hue Central Hospital surgical team, in conjunction with the surgical team in Hanoi, to perform surgery to get the donated organ from the brain-dead donor at 5:00 am on May 16.

The surgical team feeling stressed when preparing to take out the heart

Preparing the final step to take out the heart

The heart container with special fluids.

The donated heart was removed from the brain-dead patient at 7:35 am and transported to Hue with the active coordination of the authorities, Vietnam Airlines, the direct support of the National Coordination Center for Organ Transplantation and the organ-receiving team of Hue Central Hospital. The donated heart was successfully transported to the Cardiac Surgery Room of Hue Central Hospital at 10:45 am on May 16.

Dr. Nguyen Xuan Hung of Hue Central Hospital, who closely accompanied the heart.

From Phu Bai Airport, the heart was transported straight to the operating room. The ambulance ran straight to the stairs of the plane to pick up the heart.

At five to eleven, all preparation work was ready for the heart transplant.

The recipient’s chest was opened.

The doctors examined the heart as the last step before transplanting it into the chest of the 52-year-old patient

The heart surgical team, headed by Dr. Tran Hoai An, and anesthesia team led by Dr. Dang The Uyen, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Pham Nhu Hiep, performed the surgery to remove the damaged heart and transplant the donated heart into the recipient’s body.

Doctors and nurses outside the operating room were watching closely. Everyone was waiting nervously.

The heart was checked and defrosted by doctors, prepared for the transplant

The surgery did not allow a mistake, even the smallest

The surgery process was updated minute by minute

Dr Tran Hoai An – the head of the surgical team, working for many hours

The transplanted heart could beat on itself and maintained hemodynamics in the patient's chest at 13:25 on May 16.

The heart-transplant patient was resuscitated and returned to the cardiac resuscitation room at 17:00 the same day after the last stages were completed. This is a difficult heart transplant because it took more than 3 hours to transport the heart from Hanoi to Hue. Dr. Dang The Uyen, Dean of the Department of Cardiac Anesthesiology is checking the patient’s conditions after the transplantation.

At 8:00 am on May 17, the patient was fully alert; his hemodynamics was stable; he could breathe on his own and was receiving special care.

Le Huy Hoang Hai

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