Houston Hospital Halts Heart Transplant Department

A hospital in Houston is suspending all heart transplant procedures. Following the death of two recent transplant patients, the program will attempt to figure out the problem.

The hospital in question is Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. The center’s heart transplant program usually is highly regarded. However, recent deaths are raising questions.

The shutdown is reportedly going to last for 14 days. It began on June 1, 2018. During the downtime, the administration will investigate what is going wrong during procedures.

It is not just the pair of recent passings that brought about the suspension, however. Local reports state that several top doctors and surgeons left the hospital in past years. Additionally, heart transplant deaths are occurring more frequently in the last few years.

Heart transplant department in Houston suspended

The suspension of the program is voluntary. The hospital decided a suspension is the best way to find a better way to serve their patients.
Doug Lawson, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the company that operates Baylor, released a statement regarding the break.

Lawson stated they value the trust they receive from patients and families of the patients. Additionally, he said the pause is in the best interest of their patients.

It is policy at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center to review an operation when a patient passes away. However, with recent poor outcomes, there will be an additional review. The hospital hopes to uncover an underlying issue as to why procedures aren’t succeeding.

Heart transplant patients James Lewis and Robert Barron died in March and May, respectively. Both instances occurred within three months of their procedure.

Despite the stoppage in the heart transplant program, the rest of the hospital remains in operation. Other heart-related procedures will continue as usual, including pump implants and pacemakers.

Also, other transplant departments will remain functional.

The hospital will also continue to search for experts, both clinical and surgical, to add to its heart transplant program.