The Arrhythmia Programme that is part of the Cardiology Department is a pioneering programme for patients with complex congenital heart disease with heart rhythm disorders. It includes diagnosis, treatment, research and teaching of all diseases related to arrhythmias, from slow heartbeats to marked accelerations that can lead to episodes of loss of consciousness and even, in some patients, cardiac arrest.
Our programme is defined by its multidisciplinary, pioneering nature. The care we provide for patients integrates all aspects, from primary care centres to the electrophysiology room. In addition to a complete cardiological assessment, diagnostic studies of patients often include observation of heart disease or issue over time (prolonged electrocardiographic monitoring) or electrophysiological studies to help find the cause of issues with electrical signals in the heart.
We are a reference centre in all techniques relating to prolonged electrocardiographic monitoring, not only in patients who have suffered a loss of consciousness, but also in patients with heart failure.
In cases where drugs are insufficient to control rhythm disorders, alternatives such as catheter treatments are needed to physically destroy the focus or substrate of arrhythmia (ablation), or the implantation of a device, such as pacemaker or defibrillator.
We are one of the few centres in the world with a line of robotic ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation, which is one of the most frequent forms of arrhythmias, and one of the most complex to treat.
As this is a multidisciplinary programme, we collaborate with different care departments, which include:
- the Congenital Heart Disease in Adults Unit, part of the Cardiology Department, with whom we usually make joint decisions and, above all, carry out joint diagnosis, prognosis and provide ablation for adults with congenital heart disease.
- The Heart Failure Unit, part of the Cardiology Department, in which a member of the Arrhythmias Unit participates in selecting candidates, as well as in optimising treatment in implant patients.
- Primary care centres, especially with consultations with programme doctors.
- The Paediatric Cardiology Department, which discusses cases involving children with arrhythmia disorders or cases of neonatal ablation.
- The Cardiac Surgery Department, where we collaborate in the implantation of pacemakers and prolonged electrocardiographic monitoring systems, in patients where endocavity implantation or electrode extraction is not possible.
We have a Patient Monitoring Unit with implantable devices such as event recorders, pacemakers, defibrillators and heart resynchronisation systems. We carry out in-person checks as well as using remote monitoring systems from the patient’s home.
Jordi Fernández, law student and head of the Tívoli Theatre in Barcelona, was born with congenital heart disease. He has been a patient at Hospital Vall d’Hebron his whole life. The hospital is one of the most advanced in Spain in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease, thanks to the team in the Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Department, led by Dr. Raúl Abella and Dr. Ferran Rosés i Noguer.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.
The Master's Degree in Biomedical and Translational Research is an official programme created to train researchers with the requisite combination of scientific knowledge and skills to contribute to the future success of biomedical research.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.