The Cardiology Department treats heart disease, such as ischemic heart disease, heart failure, valvulopathy, inherited heart disease or arrhythmias. Ours is a highly specialised department, carrying out the most advanced procedures using the latest technology. The Cardiology Department at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital is certainly one of the most prestigious in Spain today. Its distinctive features include: high renown as a patient-centred clinic, where numerous consensual decisions are taken following discussions of cases at clinical sessions; a pioneering tradition in preparing and implementing clinical-practice protocols; its own internal Clinical Epidemiology Unit and Experimental Cardiology Laboratory and excellent scientific output.
The Cardiology Department at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital is tasked with cutting down mortality rates, morbidity rates and loss of quality of life caused by cardiovascular diseases, using a comprehensive approach to treatment, teaching and research so as to provide effective, efficient and quality assistance.
The hospital’s health-care catchment area extends over Barcelona Nord and Montcada i Reixac as well as residents from other areas under the criteria of tertiary medicine; research covers physiopathological, clinical and epidemiological aspects of diseases and teaching includes bachelor's-degree studies in Medicine, specialisation in Cardiology, postgraduate training and continuing training.
The Cardiology Department aims to gain recognition not just from its patients and their family members for its quality of assistance, capacity to solve problems and proximity but also from society and professionals from within and outside the hospital, as an excellent, talent-attracting unit.
The Cardiology Department has adopted the values of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital itself. It will always put its patients at the centre of all it does, while aiming to be an accessible, welcoming, expert, decisive, respectful and confidence-inspiring unit that never forgets its human and innovative aspects.
Our department has all the “super-specialised” structural units expected of a Cardiology Department at a tertiary university hospital:
In our Department, our mission is to ease the consequences of heart disease on the quality of life and improve the survival rates of the population. In addition to the half a million people our centre treats, we also provide care for patients with complex or specific cardiac conditions who visit us from all over Spain.
Our Department has all the super-specialised structural units expected of a Cardiology Department at a tertiary university hospital:
- Inherited Heart Disease
- Congenital Heart Disease in Adolescents and Adults
- Cardiac Catheterisation and Haemodynamics
- Heart Failure
- Coronary Unit
- Echocardiogram and cardiac imaging unit
- Imaging Unit
We boast highly sophisticated technology and qualified professionals with the specific skills and training required to meet the needs of our patients. In addition, the great variety of diseases our patients present requires us to have a large number of multidisciplinary units.These units targeted at the future challenges in cardiology place us at the forefront of heart disease treatment. A good example of this are our Marfan Syndrome units, transcatheter valve implants, and care for pregnancy in women with heart disease or endocarditis.
The Cellex haemodynamics room, a hybrid room for structural heart procedures, combines the requirements of an operating theatre with the use of state-of-the-art equipment in radiological and echocardiographic imaging, which we use to guide cardiologists and cardiac surgeons in the combined use of minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Finally, our nursing staff are key to achieving clinical excellence. They help with all diagnostics and treatments, in educating patients, in secondary prevention and in patient rehabilitation. This is especially important with more fragile, elderly patients with multiple comorbidities, a growing population we include in our Clinical Care Programme and our Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme with patients with ischemic heart disease, in coordination with primary care centres and the various gyms in our area of influence.
Our research programme into cardiovascular diseases, which is mainly translational, from the patient’s bedside to the laboratory, works towards generating knowledge and applying it for the benefit of patients and society. In the experimental cardiology laboratory basic research scientists investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms of disease and work to find new applications and treatments.
The Clinical Research Unit and the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit assess the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of the new diagnostic instruments, treatments and care systems. Our highly competitive research programmes work primarily with external financing, and include a large number of medical residents, pre-doctorate and post-doctoral positions.
Our training programme includes undergraduate, master's and doctoral students from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), a medical specialisation programme in Cardiology, medical residents, sub-specialisation programmes and international scholarships, as well as continuous medical training. The Cardiology Department also includes and co-chairs an international doctoral school at the University of Giessen and at the UAB.
The success of the Vall d'Hebron Cardiology programme for medical residents is thanks to the brilliant doctors at our medical centre with the highest scores in the general ranking of applicants, probably one of our most important assets. The programme of scientific sessions we organise is internationally recognised and the majority of cardiologists attending are specialists.
All this means we are internationally renowned with a major impact on many areas of knowledge. The staff at our Department are selected for the most prestigious international organisations and societies, and can be found on the editorial boards of scientific journals in our field.
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.
The Neonatology Department’s Sibling Project is a workshop for the siblings of new-born babies admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital. Through simulated games and situations, the project prepares them to get used to seeing their younger siblings in a hospital medical setting.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s kitchen serves more than 1,000 meals a day, twice a day, not counting breakfast. A reality that José Parrilla and Carmina Esteban know all too well.From three kitchens to one and from coal to gas. That is how the hospital’s catering service has evolved. A place where the needs of each patient must be taken into account and where there is room for small, juicy anecdotes.
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.