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Educational Schedule - March 2014 (PDF)

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Cedars-Sinai Breaks U.S. Record for Heart Transplants

The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute set a new standard for U.S. heart transplantation in 2013 by completing 117 adult heart transplants and two adult heart-lung transplants, for a total of 119 adult heart transplants. The previous mark, set in 2005, was 98 adult heart transplants performed in one year.

This accomplishment underscores the work of the past four years, during each of which the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and Comprehensive Transplant Center performed more adult heart transplants than any other U.S. medical center, according to statistics compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit organization that manages the nation's transplant system and collects data on every transplant performed in the U.S.

Cedars-Sinai's leadership in heart transplantation extends to a mechanical pumping device called the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. Total Artificial Hearts are implanted in heart failure patients who otherwise might not live long enough to receive a heart transplant. In 2013, Cedars-Sinai surgeons implanted 23 Total Artificial Hearts, according to SynCardia, the company that invented and manufactures the device. The manufacturer said Cedars-Sinai set a yearly record for the number of Total Artificial Heart devices implanted by a single medical center.

"Although we have made great strides toward preventing premature death from heart attacks, more patients are developing chronic heart failure, with breathlessness and inability to exercise," said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. "Quality of life is poor, and mortality is higher than with many malignancies. At Cedars-Sinai, we use machines to tide over the sickest patients until they can get a new heart. Because we treat more of these patients than any other center in the United States, we can tailor the approach to each individual's needs, resulting in superior outcomes."

Since the Heart Transplant Program was established in 1988, 975 patients have undergone heart transplantation at Cedars-Sinai.

"This is a golden age in organ transplantation, with more options like new anti-rejection drugs and medical devices than ever before," said Andrew S. Klein, MD, MBA, director of the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and the Esther and Mark Schulman Chair of Surgery and Transplant Medicine. "But we need to be mindful that at this moment, more than 120,000 people are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. The best way to help those patients and their families is to encourage more people to sign up to become organ donors."

Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of the Heart Transplant Program and the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Chair in Heart Transplantation Medicine, said, "In just a year, we dramatically increased the number of heart transplants, going from 95 heart transplants in 2012 to 119. Yet, even with that significant jump, we have maintained excellent one-year survival rates of approximately 90 percent."