With 73 successful heart transplants in 2012 and more than 1,900 transplantations in total, the Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia (HDZ NRW), Bad Oeynhausen, is easily the largest heart transplant center in Germany, and has been for over 20 years. This was confirmed by the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy, Industry, SMEs and Trade (MWEIMH), which awarded the HDZ NRW the accolade “Germany at its best“ within the framework of an initiative by the same name.
Heart transplants have been carried out at the University hospital of the Ruhr-University of Bochum since 1989. The specialist hospital for the treatment of cardiac, vascular and diabetic diseases, located in East Westphalia, is also internationally one of the centers with the greatest clinical experience in cardiac transplantation surgery, specifically the Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Director: Prof. Jan Gummert MD). This is also true of heart transplants in children and adolescents under the age of 16, for whom the HDZ set up its own Department of Surgery for Congenital Heart Defects in 2008 (Director: Senior Physician Dr. Eugen Sandica). In 2012, five children and adolescents aged between 1 and 16 received a new heart.
345 heart transplants were performed in Germany last year, 21 fewer than in 2011. “We have more than 250 patients currently on the waiting list, and it is them who are suffering the most from the latest debate about the allocation of donor organs and the linked drop in the number of available donor organs“, Prof. Jan Gummert MD stressed. The Center has always fulfilled the conditions laid down by the transplantation law, as can be proven. For many years the HDZ NRW has also adhered to the tried-and-tested “eight-eyes“ principle when registering patients for transplantation. “Here four physicians from different disciplines check all the medical data collected from the patient, independently of one another.“
Gummert spoke out in favor of a further reduction in the number of heart transplant centers in Germany, currently 22. “Many studies have shown that the results in large hospitals are better. These centers have routine experience in transplantation, and especially aftercare.“ He said it was no longer seldom for patients to lead a healthy life for twenty years and longer following transplantation, thus profiting enormously from the considerable clinical experience available. “Many patients are prepared to travel a long way for this.“
With 190 beds, 55 of them cardiosurgical ICU beds, nine operating theaters and a separate ward for artificial heart patients, the Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery is one of the largest cardiosurgical clinics in Europe. All cardiosurgical operating techniques are performed in Bad Oeynhausen, including minimally invasive and hybrid interventions, operations without the use of the heart-lung machine, but also thoracic surgery and lung, as well as heart-lung transplants.
Herz- und Diabeteszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen
Universitätsklinik der Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Anna Reiss (Ltg.)
32545 Bad Oeynhausen
Tel. 05731 / 97 1955
Fax 05731 / 97 2028