DC heart center performs record number of transplants during COVID-19 pandemic

A Washington, D.C.-based heart institute announced July 20 that it has performed 13 heart transplants between March and May, a record for the facility.

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center surgeons performed more than double its usual heart transplant volume between March and May, the institute said. This resulted in 23 heart transplants being performed by the institute in fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30.

The increase was due to donated hearts becoming more readily available for MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute patients after some large heart transplant centers in states hit hard by COVID-19 had to suspend their elective and non-urgent surgery programs, the institute said.

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute decided to continue its transplant program, after implementing several safety protocols, including screening and testing patients for COVID-19 before transplant procedures and using dedicated COVID-19-free units to minimize infection risk.

"As we know, cardiovascular care is rarely truly elective," said Ezequiel Molina, MD, surgical director of the Left Ventricular Assist Device and Heart Transplant Program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. "It's all essential and time sensitive. And this is one great example of delivering the vital, lifesaving care to the 13 patients who got a second chance at life."

More articles on cardiology:
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Mount Sinai, New Jersey practice enter cardiac services partnership

 

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