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About Sickkids
About SickKids

January 16, 2007

SickKids sets a new Canadian record for heart transplants in 2006

TORONTO – The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) performed 20 heart transplants on children from across the country in 2006, setting a record for the number of heart transplants performed in a year by a Canadian paediatric transplant centre.

Since the SickKids Cardiac Transplant Program began in 1990, 191 heart transplants have been performed at the hospital, establishing SickKids as one of the largest paediatric heart transplant centres in North America.

As there is no average length of time to receive a heart, the use of leading-edge technology, such as the Berlin Heart (a ventricular assist device system), has allowed SickKids to help children survive longer waits for a suitable donor heart. To date, four patients at SickKids have been assisted by the device.

“SickKids has acquired the technology and expertise that has allowed us to help more children receive a heart transplant and survive for a longer period of time with their new heart,” says Dr. Anne Dipchand, head of the SickKids Cardiac Transplant Program. “We have a dedicated multi-disciplinary team that is very focused on improving a child’s quality of life so that children can still enjoy being kids after transplant.”

In 2005, the program performed 15 transplants and on average performs 10 to 15 heart transplants each year, accounting for more than 70 per cent of Canada's paediatric heart transplants.

The SickKids Cardiac Transplant Program offers a multi-disciplinary approach that focuses on post-transplant care to ensure better outcomes, improved quality of life and a higher survival rate among transplant patients. The hospital is the only Canadian centre participating in a North American study tracking paediatric heart transplant patients.

Almost a quarter of SickKids heart transplant patients are from out of province. The transplant program has a traveling cardiac clinic that visits other programs across Canada once a year for patient follow-up and transplant education.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University of Toronto, is Canada’s most research-intensive hospital and the largest centre dedicated to improving children’s health in the country. As innovators in child health, SickKids improves the health of children by integrating care, research and teaching. Our mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing our knowledge and expertise and championing the development of an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. For more information, please visit www.sickkids.ca. SickKids is committed to healthier children for a better world.

For more information, please contact:

Media Contact
Public Affairs
The Hospital for Sick Children
Phone: 416-813-6380
Fax: 416-813-5328