Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Cincinnati Children’s has launched a pediatric lung transplant program that will be one of the few in the country capable of performing transplants for infants as small as 5 kilos (about 11 pounds).
Marc Schecter, MD, who recently joined Cincinnati Children’s from Texas Children’s Hospital, is Medical Director. David Morales, MD, is the surgical director.
Currently, only two US hospitals perform more than 10 pediatric lung transplants a year. Cincinnati Children’s goal is to reach that level within three years. The program also will make it possible for the medical center to perform heart-lung transplants and other multiple organ transplants when needed.
Dr. Schecter has participated in more than 90 pediatric lung transplants in his career. Dr. Morales has been involved in more than 50 pediatric lung transplants. Dr. Schecter also plans to continue research that explores the risk factors affecting transplant outcomes and the impact of transplant procedures on recipients’ quality of life.
Patients are considered for lung transplant when their lung disease cannot be significantly improved by either medical or surgical therapies and when there is a high chance of death. Many types of lung disease may lead to end-stage lung failure. In some cases, the lung disease may also severely affect the function of the heart. Failure of the lungs and/or heart will result in a poor quality of life and may limit a person’s life expectancy.
Common indications for lung transplantation include cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, surfactant protein deficiency and bronchiolitis obliterans.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 78 percent of patients survive the first year, 63 percent of patients survive 3 years, and 51 percent of patients survive five years after a lung transplant.
Cincinnati Children’s has one of the nation’s largest programs for pulmonary disease, which was recently ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It also has extensive experience in pediatric organ transplantation, including more than 525 liver transplants, 295 kidney transplants, 90 heart transplants and 40 intestinal transplants.
The first successful lung transplant was performed in 1986. Since then, more than 4,000 lung transplant procedures have been reported to the Registry of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, which maintains worldwide statistics for heart, heart-lung and lung transplantation. This includes over 3,000 patients in the United States. Since 1988, there have been approximately 1,100 pediatric lung transplants performed in the U.S.
For more information about referring patients to this program, call 513-803-7009.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for cancer and in the top 10 for nine of 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org. Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.