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The Inherited Heart Disease Unit is basically devoted to providing care. We have a team of two cardiologists, three interns and two nurses, one full-time and one part-time. This Unit addresses all myocardiopathies in general, and inherited cases in particular.
Myocardiopathies are diseases where the myocardium is weak, dilated or has some other structural problem. Often, the heart is unable to pump or work properly. In the case of inherited myocardiopathies, due to the fact they are often treated as part of uncommon diseases, specialist management is not within the scope of all clinical cardiologists. It requires specific treatment and involves specific technology.
We have an outpatient clinic connected to a day hospital and conventional hospitalisation, with support from the Imaging, Haemodynamics, Electrophysiology and Arrhythmias Units.
This Unit is also responsible for teaching and research. It is connected to the Genetics Unit with a unit for clinical research and a unit for basic research.
The main healthcare objectives of our Unit are:
In addition to providing multidisciplinary care for patients of all ages who suffer this condition, the objectives of Vall d’Hebron Hospital’s Hereditary Angioedema Unit include teaching and research in this field.
The Hereditary Angioedema Unit (UAEH) of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s Allergology Department has been treating patients with this disorder for more than 25 years.
UAEH outpatients are treated by allergology specialists in a multidisciplinary manner in the Outpatient Clinic in the Old Nursing School and in the Children’s and Women’s Hospital, ensuring transference and continuity of care from childhood through to adulthood for this genetic, lifelong condition.
The Unit is made up of popular, immunologists, geneticists, gynaecologists, maxillofacial surgeons, pharmacists and nurses, who are responsible for:
Depending on the type of care to be given to patients with diagnosed hereditary angioedema and their profile, they should be treated by the following divisions and/or units:
The specialists who work in the adult and paediatric allergology sections are responsible for treating patients aged 16 and under in the Children’s Hospital areas and subsequently facilitating their transfer and continuity of care with monitoring to the adult care departments in the Old Nursing School and the Allergology Day Hospital in the General Hospital.
The Hereditary Angioedema Unit (UAEH) offers an outpatient service to monitor patients with this disease: the Outpatient Clinic on the second floor of the Old Nursing School. Also, as it is a multidisciplinary unit, and depending on the type of patient (child, adult, pregnant woman), it provides care in a number of departments and units in the Children’s and Women’s Hospital, the General Hospital and A&E.
The nursing team specialises in education and specific care for patients with this disease.
Emergency care is provided at the Children’s Hospital for patients up to the age of 16 and at the General Hospital from the age of 17. The professionals who work in the A&Es have been trained to recognise the symptoms of this disease and to quickly provide its specific treatment.
When a patient needs a complex dental or maxillofacial procedure they will be assessed by the hospital’s maxillofacial surgeons and their operation will be organised with the suitable prophylaxis.
The Obstetrics, Foetal Medicine and Anaesthesia Departments have created a Working Unit for High-Risk Pregnancies for women with hereditary angioedema with the aim of monitoring the well-being of mother and child during pregnancy and of providing care during the delivery and postpartum period in accordance with a protocol specific to their type of hereditary angioedema and clinical situation. Care is also provided for high-risk postpartum cases.
In parallel to these services, there is also a reproductive counselling clinic for women with hereditary angioedema. The clinic is part of the Hereditary Angioedema Unit, and is that provided in conjunction with Gynaecology in the Outpatient Clinics of the Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
In this clinic an allergist and a gynaecologist combine their expertise to determine, in accordance with the patient’s clinical situation and type of hereditary angioedema, the possible effects of their having children. Their mission is to provide information and advice in relation to family planning and the reproductive possibilities of the patients living with this disease.
The Clinical and Molecular Genetics department consists of: the Clinical Genetics Consultation, the Rare Diseases Functional Unit and the Genetics Laboratory.
The Clinical and Molecular Genetics department is a reference centre in Catalonia in the diagnosis and care of patients with rare genetic diseases, and we are also responsible for significant research and teaching activity.
Our clinical genetic consultation offers comprehensive care for patients with genetic illnesses and their families, based on diagnosis, monitoring, management and genetic counselling.
Our main objective is to create a functional unit around a single diagnostic process, covering everything from the clinical point of view to diagnostic testing, for genetic diseases, taking into account their complexity and the need for comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment.
We have been officially classified as a member of the first Network of Clinical Expertise Units (XUEC) for the treatment of rare diseases in Catalonia, which is devoted to treating genetic cognitive/behavioural illnesses in children. Created by the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut). Thanks to this recognition, the Clinical Expertise Units (UEC) lead the way in diagnosing and caring for those affected by this type of disease in accordance with the criteria and requirements established by the rare diseases protocol in Catalonia.
Care for patients and relatives in the field of genetics includes four main activities:
More specifically, the clinical activity of the genetic consultation relating to diagnosis of genetic disorders is concentrated in a series of specific functional groups that include:
We pursue several lines of research that are part of Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) research groups. This includes the Genetic Medicine Research Group and our collaboration with other groups from Oncogenetics, Mitochondrial Diseases, Endocrinology and Paediatric Pneumology.
Our teaching activity covers undergraduates, postgraduates and continuing education of professionals interested in the field, including theoretical classes, academic placements on the unit, and supervision of final year and master's degree projects. Medical staff from our department participate actively in the following master's programmes:
We also organise seminars and courses for different groups, such as nursing professionals, consultants, residents and educators.
In collaboration with the FEDER (the Spanish Rare Diseases Federation), we have set up ourWorkshops for Patients with Rare Diseases: looking beyond the disease.
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