Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hearts : TT #21


I've just finished reading Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart. As usual, with Picoult’s books, there’s a lot of food for thought and controversial issues. The review will be coming later, but it piqued my interest in heart transplants, so I thought I'd share 13 facts about heart transplants this week:

  1. The longest a person has survived after heart transplant as of 2002 is 24 years.
  2. Heart transplant survival rates are now 84.8% at one year, 77.1% at 3 years, and roughly 50% at 10 years after transplant surgery.
  3. The number of people 65 or older who receive heart transplants is increasing faster than any other age group. From 1996 to 1999, heart transplants in the 65-plus age bracket rose 28%.
  4. Acute heart rejection is more likely to happen when the heart donor was female regardless of recipient sex.
  5. Heart failure is the leading cause of death in most of the developed world. About 730,000 Americans die each year from it.
  6. In 1998, only 2,345 heart transplants were done in the USA.
  7. As of December, 1999, there were 4,135 people on the national waiting list for heart transplant, almost double the number who actually had a transplant the year before.
  8. Average waiting time to transplant is more than 7 months. In some parts of the country, as many as 40% of patients die while waiting.
  9. A busy transplant clinic receives over 2,500 lab results each day. About 400 of these results will be outside the normal range. The coordinator in a short period of time must review all these results and decide which ones need immediate attention.
  10. Failure to take post-transplant meds properly is the third leading cause of transplant failure!
  11. As of January, 2000, there were 141 heart transplant programs operating in the USA.
  12. A donor family's financial responsibility ends when the person is declared dead. After that, the hospital does not bill the family for any charges. The Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) is billed for those charges.
  13. CAD (coronary artery disease) is the leading cause of death for heart transplant recipients who have survived at least one year after surgery.


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