Transplant News Sharing // News from Source wxow.com
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The COVID-19 pandemic is shifting the way hospitals operate. That’s leading to a sharp decline in volume of surgeries and other medical procedures. But a Wisconsin hospital is defying that national trend.
UW Health in Madison is on track to meet or exceed the amount of new patient evaluations, additions to the heart transplant waiting list and heart transplant surgeries that they did in 2019. They attribute this to their constant assessments of their resource capacity.
“We made the decision that as long as we had ICU capacity, we could continue to evaluate on a daily basis to continue to provide heart transplants to our patients on the waiting list. We, as an institution and as a transplant department, did a really nice job at maintaining close communication with our patients on the waiting list and their family members if they were to move forward with transplants throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Amy Fiedler.
Mark Graff of La Crosse was fortunate enough to receive a heart transplant during the pandemic. He said throughout his life, he’s had issues with an enlarged heart muscle. Last year, Gundersen Health System in La Crosse referred Graff to UW Health for further consultation. He was placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant in April of this year. A little over a month later, he received some great news.
“We got the call on May 14. We came to the hospital and they did the surgery the next day. I was scared, excited, nervous, all of the above. After surgery, it was just a healing process which was slow and still ongoing. I’m still healing, but I’m feeling better every day,” said Graff.
Mark Graff is the recipient of a clinical trial sponsored by the medical company, Transmedics, for a device called the Organ Care System. That technology aims to help transplant teams preserve organs in an optimal condition.
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