A Heart Transplant Selection Committee is a group of healthcare providers responsible for the evaluation and listing of patients suffering of end-stage heart disease. This group is composed of surgeons, cardiologists, social workers, immunologists, heart transplant coordinators, pharmacists, nutritionists, and heart transplant administrators. The group typically meets on a weekly basis to discuss patients seeking transplantation.
The process of evaluation is very stringent requiring each patient to submit him- or herself to a battery of tests aimed at determining candidacy. Information produced by testing will help to determine medical need, surgical and psychosocial risk. Medically most patients suffer of heart failure which cannot be controlled with medicines. This is largely determined by the heart failure cardiologist. From a surgeon's point of view, we determine surgical suitability based on a number of surgical variables. Some related to the risk of operating on the patient and the chances of whether the patient will tolerate the surgery. Surgeons also provide insight as to the impact of risk factors in the long term effect of pre-existing conditions affecting success. Social Services help determine if the patient has the social and financial resources to have a successful long term result.
Watch this 360 video to get a glimpse of how a Heart Transplant Selection Committee works.