The Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital is one of only two centres in the UK offering paediatric heart transplant and bridge to transplant, with transplant numbers increasing to the point where the unit now provides almost HALF of the UK’s paediatric transplants. They also have the expertise and support systems through their transplant service to allow them to undertake high-risk surgery. The Children’s Heart Unit is also the only service providing before birth care with seamless transition to adulthood.
Providing world class care, the unit is structured to deliver the best possible results for critically ill babies, children and young people. The service has been developed and planned in a co-ordinated manner by the dedicated team, providing a range of specialist procedures which ensure that the children’s heart surgery service is the best that it can be.
The population catchment is approximately 3 million with services including:
- Fetal Medicine
- Paediatric Cardiology
- Paediatric Intensive Care
- ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation)
- Cardiac Surgery including heart and lung transplantation & bridge to transplant
Even children with the most complicated defects are now expected to survive, and the Freeman Hospital provides all aspects of care related to this. Taking care of babies in the womb is also undertaken by the team, who give valuable advice and support, guiding families through this daunting experience.
The Children’s Heart Unit have a long standing national and international reputation in electrophysiology which extends to paediatrics, which only a few centres can provide. This unit is at the forefront of developments in electrophysiology and rhythm disorders of the heart.
The unit has embraced the challenges national cases present, and the range of devices and therapies that can be offered has changed dramatically over the last five years. They work closely with other units to provide services and ensure that patients receive joined up care, regardless of where they live. Although the work is intensive and requires expertise at many levels, it has made a positive impact on the lives of many patients from both the North East and throughout the UK and Ireland.