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Published: Feb 11, 2011

By Tampa General Hospital


February 8, 2011 (Tampa, FL) - While most Americans were still reeling from excitement the day after the Super Bowl, surgeons and staff from Tampa General Hospital were enjoying another celebration. The hospital reached the 1000th heart transplant milestone yesterday. A 64 year old Port Charlotte man became the 1000th heart transplant recipient in the program’s 25 year history. Cardiothoracic surgeon Christiano Caldeira performed the eight hour surgery on the patient, who had been living with a ventricular assist device for the last five months as he waited for a transplant. He had been placed on the active wait list for only 11 days when a donor heart became available. The patient has suffered from ischemic cardiomyopathy and pulmonary hypertension, which led to the need for a heart transplant, according to his cardiologist, Dr. Peter Berman. Tampa General Hospital ranks as the 5th busiest heart transplant program (out of 123 programs) in the United States and has one of the highest survival rates. TGH was the first hospital in Florida to perform a successful heart transplant on June 6, 1985. The second patient to receive a heart at TGH, Frank Spurlin is still alive and healthy today. The transplant team is composed of TGH surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses, transplant coordinators, social workers, Tampa General’s Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) partner, the Lifelink Foundation and both private and University of South Florida physicians. Tampa General is the only transplant center in West Central Florida performing adult heart, lung, kidney, liver and pancreas transplants. In addition, pediatric kidney transplants are also performed at TGH. Last June, the liver transplant program also reached the 1000 milestone. Over 4000 Floridians of 119,320 on the national waiting list are awaiting an organ transplant. 133 Floridians are waiting for a heart transplant, 165 are waiting for lungs, and 384 are waiting for a liver transplant, while almost 3500 are in need of a kidney according to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing. To become an organ donor, you can register at www.donatelifeflorida.org.