Santa Catarina performs third heart transplant of the year

Photos: Ricardo Wolffenbuttel / Secom

A complex operation involving dozens of health professionals and the use of a helicopter ended successfully this Wednesday, 25, in Santa Catarina. After the brain death of a man in Florianópolis, a few hours later his heart was already beating in the chest of another patient, who was waiting almost 200 kilometers away, in the interior of the state. The work was coordinated by SC Transplantes, an agency of the State Government that completes 23 years of creation in 2022.

As explained by the coordinator of SC Transplantes, physician Joel de Andrade, time is an essential factor in this type of operation. Between the moment the heart stops beating in the donor and the moment it starts working in the body of the recipient, no more than four to six hours can pass. Because of this, the helicopter also used by the governor was activated to transport between the Capital and a hospital in the interior.

“The agility in transporting teams and organs is essential for the performance of the transplant sector. This is even more striking in heart and lung transplants. The shorter the ischemia time (no blood circulation), the better. Therefore, transport by aircraft is essential. We have consolidated medical techniques that depend on this agility. Santa Catarina has offered this support to the state health system”, says Andrade.

Heart transplantation is rarer compared to other organs such as kidneys and cornea. In 2022, this was only the third such operation. In 2021 and 2020, there were only four transplants in each year.

The doctor Frederico Di Giovanni was responsible for the extraction of the donor’s heart and also for the implant operation, in another city. He was also responsible for accompanying the transport of the organ inside the helicopter. He says that the availability, by the State Government, of planes and helicopters is of paramount importance for this type of work.

Nurse Izabelle de Freiras Ferreira participated in the process of extracting the donor’s organs in Florianópolis this Wednesday. In addition to the heart, kidneys, livers and corneas were also used. She says that, in recent years, there has been greater acceptance by family members in organ donation, as a result of training offered by the Government to health professionals.

For Joel Andrade, from SC Transplantes, one of the factors that made Santa Catarina stand out nationally was the qualification of its health professionals, who work in a highly specialized way. In the last 17 years, Santa Catarina was 13 times the national leader in the organ donation rate. In the other four years, it was in second place.

Additional press information:
Leonardo Gorges
Press office
Secretary of State for Communication – SECom
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (48) 3665-3045

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