The European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association, or the ECHSA, created the database in London in 1990. In 1998, it was moved to Warsaw. The ECHSA both developed and largely financed the database. In fact, throughout the last 8 years, the financing has been coming exclusively from the ECHSA in addition to the limited temporary co-financing by the EACTS.
Since January 2000, the EACTS Congenital Database has developed into the largest global collection of data on the results of the surgical treatment of CHD by the scientific society. In total, there are 102 centers from 42 countries registered in the database with 41 units regularly submitting their data. Overall, the database has collected data from 12,736 procedures performed on 11,633 patients (4,195 of them infants and 2,245 neonates).
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The ECHSA decided to exclusively operate and administer the database for the sake of its uninterrupted progress, smooth operation, and sufficient financing. This way, we want to demonstrate the importance for us of the database and the opportunities it provides to congenital heart surgeons globally under the leadership of the ECHSA. We will continue promoting cooperation with all scientific societies interested in treating congenital heart disease in children and adults.
All registered database members have access to online reports in the “gold standard” format, including statistical graphs and outcome analysis. The members are also provided with the report generation feature since the meeting in Monaco. The database is updated every month.
Currently, we are working on improving the definitions of the LOS and IPPV types of procedures as well as the analysis of complications and advanced statistics. The International Committee headed by Francois Lacour-Gayet has developed the complexity score project, which will be added to the database soon in the form of a continuous function.
The goal of the database is not to control but to provide opportunities. It allows surgeons to use tools of self-control and comparison of the outcomes to improve their own research. The Association aims to advance the research on congenital heart defects, improve the treatment of children and adults with congenital heart disease in Europe, and promote both the treatment and research in the field irrespective of the researchers’, surgeons’, and patients’ backgrounds.