Charity puts faith in Papworth

A SUFFOLK heart charity has today put its “absolute faith” in Papworth Hospital following the news there has been a rise in patient deaths.Heart transplants have been suspended at the hospital near Cambridge after a “small increase in early mortality' following operations it carried out.

A SUFFOLK heart charity has today put its “absolute faith” in Papworth Hospital following the news there has been a rise in patient deaths.

Heart transplants have been suspended at the hospital near Cambridge after a “small increase in early mortality' following operations it carried out.

This year, seven of the 20 adult heart transplant patients have died within 30 days, the hospital said.

The Healthcare Commission is now carrying out a review of procedures, which is expected to take up to two weeks.

A spokesman for Heartbeat East Suffolk, a cardiac support group, said: “We have got an absolute faith in Papworth. Virtually all of our members at some time or another have been to Papworth. One of them had a heart transplant there three years ago and she is doing well.”

Papworth Hospital is the nearest location for heart transplants in the Suffolk region. It is one of eight places in the country to carry out heart transplants.

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Statistics from UK Transplant show that there are 75 people across the UK currently registered to have a heart transplant.

A statement from Papworth Hospital said: “Should an urgent case arise, clinicians in Papworth will discuss with the external advisors involved in the review how to manage the patients.

“Heart transplants are inherently high-risk, complex procedures performed on a relatively small number of patients and the number of operations likely to be affected is therefore small.'”

The hospital is asking patients or relatives with concerns to call 01480 830541.

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