The Pulmonary Hypertension Unit is led by Professor Sean Gaine working with his colleagues, Consultant Dr. Brian McCullagh, three accredited Clinical Nurse Specialists Caitriona Minnock, Denise Lennon and Salima Meghani and the unit’s administrator Deirdre Clerkin.
With the support of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital and the ERHA, a specialised centre for pulmonary hypertension was established at the Mater Hospital in 2003. The PH unit is the national referral and treatment centre for those diagnosed with PH in Ireland. The unit provides weekly speciality consultant led clinics and PH nurse specialist clinics.
The implementation of disease specific National Referral Guidelines for PH have further advanced disease awareness amongst the medical profession in Ireland.
It was officially opened as the National Pulmonary Hypertension Unit by the patron of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, President Mary McAleese in 2006.
See the presidential speech
Current international guidelines recommend that the management of pulmonary hypertension (PH) should take place in designated specialist centres where expert care can be provided at the correct stage of the disease process. There are seven specialist centres in Great Britain, one in Scotland and one in the Republic of Ireland, all of which are designated to treat pulmonary hypertension. These form the association of pulmonary hypertension centres of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Pulmonary Hypertension programme at the Mater Hospital participates in numerous International Multi-Center clinical trials for the treatment of PAH thus providing treatment opportunities for patients to avail of innovative investigational drug therapy not yet available on prescription. The unit has also developed partnerships with Professor Paul Mcloughlin and colleagues at the Conway Institute for Bimolecular and Biomedical Science at University Colleague Dublin. Advance in basic science is paramount in further understanding the pathology of pulmonary vascular disease, and our colleagues in the Conway are working on identifying novel therapeutic targets in human diseases through research on the disease in animal models.
Click on links to Research and Clinical Trials for further information.
The National Pulmonary Hypertension Unit emblem was designed by Stephen Touhy in 2003. Stephen was a graphic designer from Dublin, and someone who lived with the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension for years. Sadly Stephen has since passed away, but has very aptly captured what the unit stands for with this Symbol.
The symbol was designed to create the impression of a harp shaped heart. The harp which is synonymous as a symbol of Ireland is representative of the vision of the pulmonary hypertension programme to become a National referral and treatment centre.The four strings of the harp suggest the four chambers of the heart and the four provinces in Ireland. The red and blue colours denote the oxygen rich and oxygen poor circulation that occurs as the blood is pumped from the right heart in to the pulmonary circulation and returns from this pulmonary circulation in to the left heart.