First pediatric heart transport at controlled temperature – Health & Wellness

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

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

The “SherpaPak CTS” temperature controlled cardiac transport system, developed for some years by a US company and approved by the FDA in the US and CE marked in the European Union, consists of several components. The outermost part consists of a transport carrier that contains various temperature-controlled packaging elements.

At the heart of the system is a hard shell in which the heart is immersed and suspended in a cold storage solution for the transport of donor hearts. The presence of dry ice on the outside of the container ensures a constant temperature around 5 degrees centigrade avoiding excessive cooling of the heart which could lead to cell damage. A 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 all the way. There are also similar devices for the transport of other organs: lung and liver.

“The most important advantage – says Antonio Amodeo, Head of Compensation, Transplantation and Cardio-respiratory Mechanical Assistance to the Child Jesus – is that within this system you never reach temperatures below 2 degrees, as can happen in traditional transport. The system prevents the risk of freezing parts of the surface of the heart by keeping the temperature of the entire organ constant. It is known, in fact, that temperatures below 2 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 been used on some occasions only for the transport of organs for adults. That of the Infant Jesus was the first temperature-controlled transport in Italy of a heart intended for transplantation for a child.

“The Bambino Gesù Hospital – concludes Amodeo – has chosen to invest in the most advanced technologies, as well as in scientific research, because it is enormous the responsibility of giving answers to families with a sick child who are experiencing the tragedy of waiting lists for heart transplant. Our responsibility also extends to the families of donors whose great generosity is a precious gift that should never be put at risk “