North Carolina Boy Makes Heart History at Duke (nbc17.com)
For patients with heart failure that has not responded to other treatments, Duke’s Advanced Heart Failure Team provides an extensive evaluation to determine if transplant is the best treatment option.
Heart transplantation is one of the options considered when standard treatments have failed.
Duke has performed more than 820 heart transplants since the program began in 1985. In addition, Duke has a broad experience in transplanting pediatric patients and those who require multi-organ transplantation.
With transplant rates significantly higher than the national average, our program has been named one of the country’s highest-performing heart transplant centers by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Innovative approaches to recipient and donor selection have greatly expanded the criteria for heart transplant recipients so that patients into their mid-70s may be considered for transplant. At Duke, transplantation is available to more patients -- including some who do not meet traditional transplant criteria.
Once a patient is referred for transplant, he or she undergoes a thorough evaluation to ensure that no alternatives to transplant are available, that the patient is ill enough to derive benefit from transplant and does not have other medical conditions that would limit post-transplant survival and functional improvement.
Education is a critical component of the evaluation process. A heart transplant patient guide booklet is provided to patients and their families at the time of their evaluation.
This booklet gives information about heart function, the transplant process, and the course of recovery. However, it is not designed to answer every question, and you are encouraged to ask your physician or transplant coordinator any additional questions you might have.
Patients and their families are provided ample time to discuss their questions and concerns with our team.
Duke’s heart transplant team consists of:
Other disciplines that provide support include pharmacy, infectious disease, nutrition, physical therapy, and psychiatry.
After the decision is made to list a patient for transplant, the potential recipient's name is entered on the national waiting list. The median waiting time for cardiac transplantation at Duke is two months, but an individual's waiting time will depend on multiple factors including blood type, body size, and the severity of the illness.
During the waiting period, patients are monitored by their family physician, internists, cardiologists, and the Duke transplant team.
If a patient experiences clinical deterioration while waiting for a transplant, Duke has the expertise to use other advanced therapies, including intravenous medications and left ventricular assist devices (LVAD, mechanical heart pump).
Physicians offering this service include:
This service is available at: