Frank Han MD Pediatric/ACHD/GUCH Cardiologist @han_francis
UIC Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiologist.
There is a great deal of consternation about heart transplants and vaccine requirements. This thread is meant to explain to the public why our partners in heart transplant are so incredibly strict.
Heart transplant is one of the most scarce resources that exist. Big reason? A donor has to be deceased for a heart to be available. Even then, a separate medical team has to be sure the heart is healthy enough survive two surgeries (leaving the donor, getting to destination).
If fully functional hearts could be delivered at some point in the far future on a 3d printer, this will no longer be an issue. That’s an active area of research but not a reality.
Heart transplants come with a heavy medical appointment demands and heart procedures on the receiving patient to make sure the transplanted heart is functioning properly and stays healthy. Deviation from our protocol puts lives in direct danger.
Heart transplants come with mandatory immunosuppression at a dose tailored to the patient. This is not negotiable; this also places patients at risk for infections, including really serious ones. This is why a catch up vaccine schedule is required prior to transplant.
Just picking and choosing your vaccine schedule puts the heart transplant candidates life at risk. Click bait headlines about pundits getting upset don’t speak to the medical reality of why vaccination is necessary.
So don’t get your heart transplant information from emotion grabbing headlines.