El Negrín innovates with a technique to treat pulmonary hypertension

Image of the moment in which the implantation of the infusion pump is performed

Image of the moment when the infusion pump is implanted

A group of professionals from University Hospital of Gran Canaria Doctor Negrín, center attached to the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, has successfully implemented, recently and for the first time in the Canary Islands, a continuous infusion intravenous pump for the home treatment of severe pulmonary hypertension. The details of this technique were presented this morning at the hospital, in a ceremony attended by the managing director, Pedro Rodríguez Suárez; the coordinator of the Pulmonary Vascular Multidisciplinary Unit, Gregorio Pérez Peñate; Juan María Pulido Duque, vascular interventional radiologist and María Luisa Torres Machí, physician of the Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Pain Therapeutics service. This procedure, carried out by the Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Vascular Unit of the hospital center, has been carried out in collaboration with the aforementioned services as well as with professionals from the Thoracic Surgery service.

Patients with severe pulmonary hypertension frequently require treatment with intravenous prostacyclins. (Treprostinil) in continuous intravenous infusion. Usually, to carry out this type of therapy, a central or subcutaneous venous catheter and an external infusion pump are necessary. The patient, previously trained by the Unit nurse, must prepare and load his medication daily, monitor the operation of his catheter and periodically change the batteries of his pump. This treatment is not without complications, such as infection and obstruction of the catheter, and the malfunction of the machine. In recent years, the possibility has emerged of subcutaneously implanting an autonomous continuous infusion pump (without a battery), connected to a tunnelled central catheter without contact with the outside. One of the main advantages of this technique is that the most serious complications of the treatment are avoided, avoiding unnecessary manipulations and improving the physical and mental well-being of the patients. The control and monitoring of the implanted pump is carried out from the consultation by the expert nurse of the Multidisciplinary Unit.

In this way, El Negrín becomes the third adult hospital center in the national territory to implement this program for patients at high risk of complications with conventional intravenous treatment with prostacyclins., or for those patients who, due to age, or specific social or personal conditions, cannot be adequately instructed to carry out said treatment with minimum safety conditions.

Multidisciplinary Unit

The Pulmonary Vascular Multidisciplinary Unit, created at the Doctor Negrín University Hospital of Gran Canaria in 2010, It is organically included in the Pneumology service of the hospital center and brings together medical professionals and nurses from the Pulmonology, Cardiology and Rheumatology services for the management of pulmonary vascular diseases and complex pulmonary hypertension that require an individualized and specialized approach. In addition, it collaborates in the evaluation of candidates for lung transplantation, as well as in heart transplantation and congenital heart surgery programs. At present, he advises and assists other specialists in the management of this complex pathology in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands and participates in international clinical trials for the development of new drugs with which to treat this pathology.


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