“Destination Therapy” has thus been definitively changed into “LVAD treatment”
New possibilities are opening up in hospitals where the assisted heart is already implanted. People with certain forms of end-stage heart failure, who are not eligible for a heart transplant, can now also be eligible for an assisted heart. They will have to undergo a screening to check whether this is medically justified.
Thanks to everyone who has committed themselves to this, especially the people of the LVAD working group.
The press release of the LUMC is a welcome publication on this subject, but requires some nuance and explanation:
There are 4 hospitals in the Netherlands where support hearts are implanted.
These are the transplant centers UMC Utrecht, Erasmus MC and UMC Groningen and also the LUMC, which is the only hospital that is not a transplant center.
The assisted heart was only reimbursed for people who were on the list for a heart transplant as “Bridge to Transplant”. There has been lobbying for years to also be able to save heart failure patients who are NOT eligible for a transplant with the assisted heart.
The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has decided this year that the assisted heart will be reimbursed for everyone who qualifies for this, whether or not transplantable, and for the time being only in the (all) centers where they are already implanted. LUMC started a number of years ago to apply this “Destination therapy” at its own expense and are rightly very happy that they are now also being reimbursed.