Houston hospital resumes heart transplant program after investigation into recent deaths

Houston-based Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center's heart transplant program resumed June 15 after hospital officials suspended the program for two weeks to review potential quality issues and two recent patient deaths, Click 2 Houston reports.

Hospital officials suspended the program June 1 and said no donor hearts would be accepted during the 14-day suspension, leaving a number of patients waiting for a heart transplant.

The two-week review "did not identify systemic issues related to the quality of the program," hospital officials said.

After the review, hospital officials expanded the role of Gabriel Loor, MD, the co-chief of adult cardiac surgery, refined criteria for the patient selection process and reorganized its approach to patient care.

Additionally, the hospital formed a transplant committee that will continue to review the program and recommend necessary changes, officials said.

"Baylor St. Luke's believes strongly that improvement is a never-ending process," said Paul Klotman, MD, president and CEO of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "Although this voluntary pause in the program is complete, we will continue to recruit additional surgical and clinical expertise, refine procedures and practices, and implement improvements as soon as we identify opportunities."

More than 60 patients qualified for the program are awaiting donor hearts for transplant, according to hospital officials.

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