St. Louis hospital surpasses lung transplant milestone

Thursday, January 22, 2009 | 6:44 p.m. CST; updated 7:58 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 22, 2009

ST. LOUIS — Lung transplant surgeons at Washington University in St. Louis reached, then surpassed, a milestone this week.

They performed the 1,000th adult lung transplant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Wednesday, then did another one just a few hours later.

That's not counting almost 400 lung transplants they performed at St. Louis Children's Hospital next door, according to the surgeons.

The Washington University Medical Center, consisting of Barnes-Jewish, the Children's Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine, said it's the busiest lung transplant center in the U.S., drawing patients from around the world.

It said it also surpasses national averages in outcomes.

The 1,000th patient is a 28-year-old man from Indiana who has cystic fibrosis and had been on the lung transplant list since November.

The 1,001st patient is a 63-year-old man from Arkansas, who suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and had been on the waiting list for 54 days. He moved to St. Louis the day after Thanksgiving to be near the hospital.

Both men were listed in serious condition, but that's normal after a transplant, Barnes-Jewish spokeswoman Kathryn Holleman said. They're both expected to move out of the intensive care unit soon. After discharge in about two weeks, they'll stay in St. Louis for three months so their conditions and medications can be monitored.

The medical center's lung transplant program was started in 1988 by a team that innovated and developed surgical techniques that it says are acknowledged as the gold standard.

The University of Pennsylvania Medical Center has done slightly more adult lung transplants but fewer children's lung transplants, Holleman said.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Gary Freie January 22, 2009 | 8:26 p.m.

As the 200th transplant recipient (11/11/1993) and a fifteen plus year survivor, I cannot say enough about the dedication and quality of the clinical faculty, transplant coordinators and staff at the Washington University Lung Transplant Program. The key to my survival has been the excellent post transplant care given to me by the the Pulmonary Care Physicians, especially Dr Elbert Trulock.

Gary Freie

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.