Tampa (November 24, 2008) – On November 9th, Tampa General Hospital performed its 150th lung transplant. The double lung recipient was John Innarelli, 64, of Lehigh Acres, a retired facilities engineer, father of three, and grandfather. Dr. Christiano Caldiera performed the surgery and under the care of Dr. Mark Rolfe and Dr. Tarik Haddad, pulmonary and critical care specialists. Innarelli and his wife Susan celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary in the hospital on November 17th. The patient is being released home today.
The first lung transplant at Tampa General took place on June 19, 2002. Five years later, on June 26, 2007, TGH marked its 100th lung transplant. According to the 2007 National ranking for solid organ transplant programs issued by UNOS, Tampa General’s lung transplant program ranked 9th in the nation and first in the state.
The lungs have two major functions: to supply oxygen to your body and to eliminate the waste product carbon dioxide. Lung failure occurs when the lungs are damaged either through disease or environmental factors and are not able to perform these vital functions.
Both single and double lung transplants are performed at TGH, depending on the patient’s needs.
TGH is one of the busiest transplant centers in the country, nationally ranking 5th in heart, 10th in kidney-pancreas, 16th in kidney, and 19th in liver. The hospital partners with LifeLink HealthCare Institute, USF, and transplant specialists in the community. Last year TGH transplanted a combined total of 382 patients throughout Florida, 41 of which were lung transplant recipients. Currently, 148 people are waiting for lung transplants in Florida….and 2082 are awaiting lung transplant in the United States.
To become a registered organ donor, you can complete a donor card at your local driver’s license office or go on-line to LifeLinkfound.org and follow the prompts to complete a family notification card. A donor card kit will be sent to you.