Paediatric cardiac surgery in a peripheral European region: is a joint programme a safe alternative to regionalisation?

Gabriele M Iacona, Alessandro Giamberti, Raul F Abella, Giuseppe Pomè, Julio Agredo, Saúl G Mendieta, Antonio Forcano, Concepción Sobrado, Josepha Suaréz, Sonia Peñate, Asunción Melián, Montserrat Volo, Rafael González, Marisa L Antúnez, Hipólito L Falcón, Francisco J Cabrera, Carlos Rubio, Javier Fernández, Pedro Suárez, Cesar PereraAlessandro Frigiola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: In 2007, a partnership was initiated between a small-volume paediatric cardiac surgery unit located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, and a large-volume cardiac surgery unit located in Milan, Italy. The main goal of this partnership was to provide surgical treatment to children with CHD in the Canary Islands.

METHODS: An operative algorithm for performing surgery in elective, urgent, and emergency cases was adopted by the this joint programme. Demographic and in-hospital variables were collected from the medical records of all the patients who had undergone surgical intervention for CHD from January, 2009 to March, 2013. Data were introduced into the congenital database of the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association Congenital Database and the database was interrogated.

RESULTS: In total, 65 surgical mission trips were performed during the period of this study. The European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association Congenital Database documented 214 total patients with a mean age at operation of 36.45 months, 316 procedures in total with 198 cardiopulmonary bypass cases, 46 non-cardiopulmonary bypass cases, 26 cardiovascular cases without cardiopulmonary bypass, 22 miscellaneous other types of cases, 16 interventional cardiology cases, six thoracic cases, one non-cardiac, non-thoracic procedure on a cardiac patient with cardiac anaesthesia, and one extracorporeal membrane oxygenation case. The 30-day mortality was 6.07% (13 patients).

CONCLUSIONS: A joint programme between a small-volume centre and a large-volume centre may represent a valid and reproducible model for safe paediatric cardiac surgery in the context of a peripheral region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-283
Number of pages11
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures/methods
  • Cardiology/organization & administration
  • Child, Preschool
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital/surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Societies, Medical
  • Specialties, Surgical/organization & administration


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