Photo: Fiona Coote AM

Heart and Lungs

One in six Australians suffer from cardiovascular disease, while one in ten of us suffer from lung disease. The heart and lung doctors and nurses at St Vincent’s have committed to helping patients live long and healthy lives. They do this by developing new surgical procedures as well as conducting ground-breaking medical research.

St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has always been at the forefront of research into Cardiothoracic care. In 2019, they celebrated 35 years of the Heart Lung Transplant Program.

However, limited funding has restricted the use of new and often life-saving technology procedures. Because of this, the Foundation has relied on support from the community to fund these vital programs.

Today, St Vincent’s is still leading the way in organ care preservation and transportation. They are experts in minimally invasive heart surgeries and use robotics to care for the 1.5 million Australians living with Heart and Lung disease.  The vision for the future is to establish the St Vincent’s Heart Lung Vascular Centre of Excellence. Here, St Vincent’s will formalise its leading clinical practice, trials and research and improve patient care outcomes.

St Vincent’s Heart Lung Innovation Fund supports programs such as:

  • “Heart and Lungs in the Box”: Otherwise known as the Organ Care System (OCS), this program works by connecting the donor heart to a portable circuit where it is kept beating until it is ready to be transplanted into the recipient. This limits the damaging effects of cold ischaemia which occurs with the standard mode of packing the heart on ice. This pioneering St Vincent’s technology is now used in transplant centres around the world. Importantly, it has significantly increased the number of organs suitable for transplant in recent years.
  • Mechanical Hearts and Pumps: St Vincent’s leads the way in the evolution of mechanical heart pumps and artificial hearts which are vital for end-stage heart failure when not donor organs are available. Private support enabled St Vincent’s to implant the first total artificial heart in Australia in 2010 and continues to support continued innovation and trials of this technology.
  • St Vincent’s Heart Lung Vascular Centre for Excellence – Our vision is to undertake an ambitious program to build the St Vincent’s Heart Lung Vascular Centre for Excellence. We will use our tradition of excellence and innovation to create a new future for treating heart and lung diseases. With your help, our doctors can change how people with heart and lung conditions are cared for across Australia.

Watch to see how your donations can help:

Donate today to the Heart Lung Innovation Fund and help support cardiothoracic innovation at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney stay at the forefront of Heart and Lung technology.