“Courage of patients is amazing.” Europe’s top heart transplant surgeon admires patients’ will to survive. 12
Professor Leprince, we talked a lot about heart transplantation and advanced heart failure treatment. Is there a clinical case that you could discuss? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. A patient’s story that illustrates some topics that we discussed today. Maybe I’m not going to discuss one single case. But I am going to talk about the courage of patients. Dr. Pascal Leprince, Transplant Surgeon. We do take care of very sick patients. Dr. Pascal Leprince, Transplant Surgeon. We see many patients who were in the ICU for a long time. Sometimes you are a heart transplant patient, 70% of cardiac transplantations will go straight forward. The patient will just be transplanted with a new heart. The patient will stay in the ICU for one or two weeks. Then the patient with be transferred to the ward for another one or two weeks. Then patients are discharged for rehabilitation. This is pretty easy. Even this hospital course is already tough for the patient. But it is pretty easy. But then we do have patients who will stay in the Intensive Care Unit for a month. It means that their family will also stay in the ICU for a month. This is something patients should come to look at because those patients show us a high level of courage to go through that long ICU admission period. Because patients will go through a lot of pain. Even if we try to treat the pain. Patients still go through a lot of pain. Not only the patient. The family also goes through physical pain and mental pain. Nobody knows for those patients. Nobody knows who is going to survive. What is going to be the outcome of treatment? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Some of the patients would suffer for nothing because they will die. But nobody knows. This is what is good—a good part of a human being. A human being can fight so much to stay alive with a good quality of life. I am always amazed by that! Do ? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. I’m not sure I would have the same courage as those patients show us. It is so tough to go through a long ICU course without an idea of whether a patient will survive. Because patients will not survive for themselves, many of them. Maybe some patients will fight to survive for themselves. But most of the patients in the ICU would fight to survive for the family. When you talk with patients. That is very important. Patients want to make this struggle to survive, not for themselves. They don’t care about themselves. Patients care about their families. They want to stay alive because they must. Because they want the family not to be sad. Or because they have to still give something to the family. That is very important to me. So, this is not the one patient’s clinical case. This are many situations that we have observed with those patients. That is the good part of human being’s nature, I think. This is what is good for our job. Every day we see the good side of a human being. It makes me very, very enthusiastic. Because I still believe that human beings are going to evolve. I’m not sure how we did evolve through the last 70,000 years. But maybe we can move to something different. Because that is pretty good. When you look at that, I say. Dr. Pascal Leprince, Transplant Surgeon. Well, patients can suffer so much psychologically, physically, just to stay with their relatives, family, friends. Patients are staying alive, not for themselves. That is something we have to look at very closely. That could maybe help a little bit the world. The world is not in such an easy situation nowadays. The human part of medicine! We started discussing very sophisticated technical topics of heart transplantation. But ultimately, it is about human relationships. This is something that you highlight with your enormous experience. Yeah. That, I think, is something we see every day. I’m pretty sure we get, like medical doctors, a lot of positive feelings from that. Every day. Medical second opinion is important. It is very, very nice to come to work every day at the hospital. Professor Leprince, is there anything in your interests and thoughts that you would like to talk about? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Maybe there is a question I haven’t asked but should have asked? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Anything in your interests that you’d like to discuss? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. No, I think we could go through many, many other things. Now I think we went through many good things about medicine. Let’s just say to the young patients that medicine is a nice, nice job because you take care of the patient. Professor Leprince, thank you very much for this very interesting and very deep conversation here in Paris. It is a big honor to be able to discuss with you cardiac surgery, transplantation, heart failure. The human side of medicine. Thank you! Thank you! It was a pleasure. Real pleasure. Thanks.
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