Heart Failure + Transplant

The Heart Failure and Transplant Programs look after people who have heart failure who have been referred either for help with finding out about and treating heart failure or assessment for heart transplant and care after the transplant.

Heart Failure

People are referred to the Heart Function Clinic because they have a condition called “heart failure”. The clinic aims to help you live well with this condition.

‘Heart failure’ is when the heart does not pump as well as it should. Heart failure is quite common as people get older. It is caused by many things, but most commonly caused by high blood pressure or a heart attack.

If you are referred to the Heart Function Clinic, we work with you for about one year. During this time, we will:

  • See you in the Clinic three or four times
  • Do various heart tests
  • Make sure you are on the right medications for you
  • Teach you how to manage your heart failure better at home
  • Regularly update your family doctor on your condition
  • Continue to check on you until things are working well for you

What to bring

  • All your medications with you in a bag so we can see exactly what you’re taking
  • Your medication list, if you have one
  • Your BC Care Card
  • Summary of your medical history, if you have one
  • A list of who your doctors are
  • A record of your weight for the last month (if you have it)
  • A record of your blood pressure and blood sugar levels for the last month (if you have them)
  • A list of any questions you may have

​Disease Information

Heart and Stroke Foundation 

BC's Heart Failure Network 

Patient Information

Heart Function Clinic Information

Contact Information

Heart Function Clinic
5th Floor, 5C,
Providence Building, Room: 5202
Phone: (604) 806-8733
Fax: (604) 806-8763

 

Transplant

St Paul’s Hospital is home to British Columbia’s only heart transplant program.

A heart transplant is when a person’s sick heart is replaced with a healthy one from an organ donor (someone who has died and whose organs have been donated). Organ transplants are only possible because of the gift of an organ from a donor and their family.

People who need a heart transplant have heart failure that is getting worse and no longer treatable in any other way. People are referred to St Paul’s Hospital by their GP or Cardiologist.

Once you have been referred, an appointment will be made for you and you will be seen by the medical team to find out if you are suitable for a heart transplant.

If you are a candidate for a heart transplant you will need to wait for a heart. Sometimes, if you are very sick and think that a heart will not be found soon enough, we will start to talk with you about using a mechanical heart called a ventricular assist device (VAD) to buy you some time while you wait for a heart.

Visit the HeartWare VAD education site to view videos about living with, and caring for a VAD.

What to bring

You will need to bring the following with you to your clinic visits:

  • All your medications with you in a bag so we can see exactly what you’re taking
  • Your medication list, if you have one
  • Your BC Care Card
  • Summary of your medical history, if you have one
  • A list of who your doctors are
  • A record of your weight for the last month (if you have it)
  • A record of your blood pressure and blood sugar levels for the last month (if you have them)
  • A list of questions you may have

Disease Information

Not everyone is suitable for a heart transplant. If there are other things that can be done to help you feel better, they should be done first. If you have a disease or condition that is serious and won’t be helped with the transplant, then it is not the right thing for you. If you have trouble sticking to taking medications or coming to appointments, a heart transplant may not be right for you. Our team works through this with you when the doctors think it’s time to do an assessment.

More information about transplants can be found through BC Transplant and our handout below:

Heart Transplant Overview

Contact Information

Pre-Heart Transplant and VAD Clinic
Phone (604) 806-8602
Fax: (604) 806-8763
Post Heart Transplant Clinic
Phone (604) 806-8374
Fax: (604) 806-8763