World Heart Day

This post is going to explain heart transplants, a topic that isn’t talked about very often. Hopefully it will be useful to learn some information on this topic.


What are heart transplants

Heart transplants are operations to replace an injured or failing heart with a healthy heart. The replacement comes from a person who has recently died.

They are carried out when someone has severe heart failure and the current treatments are no longer working.

People with conditions such as coronary heart disease and congenital heart disease may be considered for heart transplants if the heart stops working.


What happens?

As mentioned above, a heart transplant needs to take place very soon after a donor becomes available. The operation is performed under general anaesthetic, with the aid of a heart-lung bypass machine to make sure that blood is circulating with oxygen-rich blood.

Once the original heart is removed, the donor heart is put in place, connecting the arteries and veins. The heart should start to beat normally.



After going through a heart transplant, it is likely that you will need to stay in hospital for two to three weeks. A further few months is then needed before getting back to normal activities. These time frames will change depending on the patient.


The risks

A heart transplant isn’t a simple procedure, therefore there are some possible risks which go hand in hand with the surgery:

  • Medication side effects, for example being more prone to infections, weight gain and kidney issues
  • The new heart fails to work properly
  • The immune system doesn’t respond properly to the new heart
  • The arteries start to narrow



Heart transplants are not for everyone. Sometimes they can be beneficial, however not suitable. This can be for the following reasons:

  • Damage to other organs
  • Cancer, you will need to be in remission before a transplant
  • An infection
  • Obesity
  • Damaged blood vessels from diabetes
  • A heavy drinker or smoker


To learn life-saving skills attending a First Aid course is what you need to do. We hold regular First Aid At Work courses in central Cardiff. There are two levels of courses available depending on the level of risk in your workplace. See these links to find out the dates of upcoming courses and to book places online:

Alternatively, many employers prefer First Aid training to be carried out at their own workplace so we can provide a quote for us to come to you. 

Here's how to get in touch and find out more information:


St David’s First Aid Training – keeping you safe and legal.