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July 10, 2003

Latest Transplant Statistics Support High-Volume Excellence Among Teaching Hospitals

(Philadelphia, PA) - The latest report from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients confirms that high-volume, academic medical centers have the best health outcomes for transplant procedures of all kinds. The report, citing five years of accumulated data from 1998, shows that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) has the highest one-year survival rates among high-volume facilities in the city for all major transplant procedures.

HUP's Multi-Organ Transplant Program, begun in 1966, is ranked among the top, by volume, in the nation. Nearly 40 per cent of all types of transplants in Philadelphia are performed at HUP -- the only hospital in the city to perform all major solid organ transplants, including multi-organ transplants.

"The evidence clearly shows that, for transplant procedures, the greater the experience, the better the results," said Abraham Shaked, MD, Chief of the Division of Transplantation Surgery at HUP and Director of the PENN Transplant Center. "We are the experts in performing these complex procedures, and we are better able to manage the patients at the time of transplant and in the long run. Our survival rates during the operation and immediately after are excellent when compared to the other centers in our region, or the national outcomes."

Indeed, on average, at least one transplant procedure was performed each day at HUP in 2002 - by year's end, the number had reached 391 transplantations. In addition to solid organ procedures, HUP transplant specialists are adept at all types of more complicated cases -- including adult-to-adult, living donor liver transplantation (one of only nine centers in the US participating in an NIH-sponsored study to determine the safety and outcome of the procedure), and split-liver transplants (in which the larger section of a donated liver is given to an adult, and the smaller section to a child.) In fact, HUP is the only facility in Philadelphia that performs joint heart-liver and liver-lung transplants.

Another advantage to the clinical excellence of the transplant program at HUP is the round-the-clock availability of all members of the transplant team - including surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, transplant coordinators, social workers, etc.

"Transplant procedures are fast-paced; you can have only hours within which to operate, or the patient will die," said Michael Acker, MD, Surgical Director for Heart Transplants at HUP. "Within hours, I can have every member of the transplant team ready."

The transplant team at HUP totals nearly 80 specialists (including 40 physicians and nurses), and it performs over 700 consultations per year.

The first transplant performed at HUP occurred 37 years ago, and involved the donation of a kidney from one brother to another. The recipient, now 60 years old, is still alive -- with a healthy, functioning donated kidney.

More than 1,300 Philadelphians, and nearly 82,000 Americans, are currently on waiting lists for organs. Wait times vary, depending upon the severity of the patient's health and need for transplantation. Kidneys are in greatest demand, with wait times of up to six years.

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients report, based at the University of Michigan, is a federally funded project dedicated to monitoring transplantation outcomes in the United States. Copies of the report can be found on its website at: www.ustransplant.org

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The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), founded in 1874 as the nation's first teaching hospital, is today ranked consistently by US News & World Report as one of the nation's "Honor Roll" hospitals. HUP physicians are faculty in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine -- which is ranked #4 in the nation by US News & World Report in its annual survey of research-oriented medical schools. Penn's School of Medicine is also ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds.




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