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Published: Mar 28, 2012

By Tampa General Hospital


March 28, 2012 (Tampa, FL) - Within the span of a single year, Tampa General jumped from the 10th to the fourth highest volume transplant center among the 258 centers in the country, according to 2011 figures released by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). TGH closed out its record-setting year of 500 transplants on Dec 30th when a Pasco County man received a new lung.

The OPTN figures for 2011 also show that each of TGH’s transplant programs - heart, liver, lung, kidney/pancreas, and kidney - ranked among the country’s 10 busiest centers for the first time in the hospital’s history.

Ron Hytoff, president and CEO of Tampa General, praised the hospital’s partnership with the LifeLink Foundation, which procures organs for transplants. He said the achievement also reflects the tight working relationship among the many specialties involved in the transplant program.

“Our ability to perform 500 transplants is a direct result of LifeLink’s ability to acquire the organs,” he said. “It also demonstrates that every part of the transplant process - from the specialty physicians, surgeons and coordinators to the intensive care nurses and even support staff like dietary - all contribute to making the program a success.”

Angie Korsun, administrator of the TGH Transplant Program, said there is another facet to the OPTN figures that cannot be overlooked.

“The story behind the numbers is the unselfish generosity of the families and patients who agree to donate organs,” she said. “They make the decision to donate, often at a time of intense sadness, so others may live. It’s one of those occasions in which someone’s tragedy becomes another person’s salvation.”

According to the OPTN’s statistics:

  • The most significant volume increase for the hospital last year was liver transplants, which jumped from 91transplants in 2010 to 126 performed last year. It was enough to move the liver transplant program from the 25th busiest to the ninth among the country’s 131 liver transplant programs, according to the OPTN.
  • The heart transplant program maintained its 2010 ranking as the nation’s fifth busiest among the 126 centers in the country with 58 transplants last year.
  • TGH’s kidney transplant program cracked the Top 10 in 2011 with 240 transplants.
  • The hospital performed 20 kidney-pancreas transplants in 2011 making it the 6th busiest kidney-pancreas program.
  • The 56 lung transplants performed in 2011at TGH was the eighth busiest among the 63 centers performing lung transplants in the country.

The primary goal of the OPTN is to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the country’s organ sharing and transplant system. It is administered by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the agency that manages the country’s organ transplant system for the federal government. The OPTN releases patient volume statistics each spring for the nation’s transplant centers on its website.

Almost 114,000 people in the United States, and more than 4,000 in Florida, are on waiting lists for an organ transplant. To register to become an organ donor, go to http://www.donatelifeflorida.org/.