Tampa General Hospital Marks Record Year in Transplant, Rising in Rank to 6th Busiest Center in the Nation, and 3rd Nationally for Kidney Transplant | Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital Marks Record Year in Transplant, Rising in Rank to 6th Busiest Center in the Nation, and 3rd Nationally for Kidney Transplant

Published: Mar 10, 2021

By Tampa General Hospital


The transplant team at Tampa General Hospital performed 611 organ transplants in 2020, eclipsing the hospital’s previous total and making it the sixth busiest transplant center in the nation.

Tampa, FL (March 10, 2021) -- Tampa General Hospital, a 1007-bed academic medical center, is proud to be ranked the 6th busiest transplant center in the nation and 3rd nationally for kidney transplants. In 2020, 611 solid organ transplants were performed at Tampa General, the largest number ever performed in the hospital’s history.

The previous record for the hospital, set in 2019, was 584.

“These national rankings showcase the expertise and advanced care Tampa General provides to our patients,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General. “Our collaboration between LifeLink of Florida, USF Health, our private practice physicians, and our TGMG team is critical in our overall success related to transplant. Studies consistently reveal higher patient volumes – in this case, the number of transplants conducted at Tampa General – lead to increased proficiency. Better proficiency, in turn, means better outcomes for our patients.”

Tampa General is among the nation’s leaders in the number of transplants performed in 2020, making this the hospital’s second record-setting year in a row, for a total of over 11,000 transplants since the program began in 1974.

In 2020:

  • Kidney Program ranks #3 in the nation performing 368 kidney transplants and 12 kidney/pancreas. Of these, 73 were live donor kidney transplants.
  • Liver Program ranks #10 in the nation, performing 152 transplants.
  • Heart Program ranks #25 in the nation, performing 44 transplants.
  • Lung Program ranks #27 in the nation, performing 34 transplants.

“Performing more transplants means saving more lives,” said Dr. Kiran Dhanireddy, executive director of the Tampa General Hospital Transplant Institute. “Every single one of these 611 transplants saved a life or transformed the health of a patient in need. Tampa General recognizes the collaborative partnership with our local organ procurement organization, LifeLink of Florida, and the selfless organ donors and gracious donor families who chose to save lives.”

“LifeLink of Florida recognizes the generosity of donor families who make transplantation possible, and our partnership with the committed staff at TGH,” said Liz Lehr, senior vice president/executive director, LifeLink of Florida.  “Together we helped more transplant patients experience renewed life.”

Tampa General’s record number can be attributed to several factors, including a new technology called Organ Care System (OCSTM), designed to increase the number of donated hearts, livers and lungs that can be used to save the lives of transplant recipient patients. The technology, called normal temperature perfusion, keeps organs alive and healthy by transporting them near normal body temperature to sustain the function of donated organs. During this process, hearts beat, livers produce bile and lungs breathe, all inside portable machines. Traditionally, organs are transported in medical coolers, which preserves chilled organs for several hours but does not allow them to function.

Because OCS extends the survivability of donated organs beyond that of traditional transport in medical coolers, it increases the geographic region from which organs can travel and, subsequently, the number of organs that can be donated. The hospital can now transplant some organs that could not be recovered before.  Another factor was the singular focus of the transplant to team to continue to provide transplant patients with access to potentially lifesaving surgeries despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

“Throughout the year, we have focused on our patients and one another,” Dhanireddy said. “When life radically changed in March with the onset of the pandemic, we pulled together to support our teammates, patients, and the community. We adopted new ways of delivering care and continued to stay focused on our Transplant Institute’s shared purpose of improving, extending, and saving the lives of people with advanced organ disease.”

To register as a donor or learn more about donation and transplantation, visit donatelifeflorida.org.

Tampa General Hospital, a 1007-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Hospitals, and one of the top 4 hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.