Pediatric Lung Transplant

Lung transplantation is usually the only viable treatment option for children with end-stage pulmonary and pulmonary vascular disease. The pediatric lung transplant program at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital (SLCH) performed nearly half of all pediatric lung transplant procedures undertaken worldwide between 1990 through 2003 and continues to be one of the most active pediatric lung transplant programs in the world. The first child received her transplant in June of 1990. Since that time, more than 300 children have received lung or heart-lung transplants at St. Louis Children's Hospital.  Washington University is the coordinating center for multicenter studies of outcomes in pediatric lung transplant patients, funded by the National Institutes of Health through the Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation in Children (CTOT-C) program.

Medical care is overseen by Dr. Stuart Sweet (medical director) of the division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine. Dr. Pirooz Eghtesday of the division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is the surgical director. The physicians work closely with a multi-disciplinary team including, transplant nurse coordinators, pediatric cardiologists, respiratory and physical therapists, social workers, child life workers, psychologists, dieticians and financial coordinators. Each member of this team contributes to comprehensive support for the patient family and consultation, as needed to the referring physicians.

Potential transplant candidates are referred to SLCH from health care centers worldwide. After a thorough evaluation, acceptable candidates are listed with United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization in the United States that manages the Organ Transplantation and Procurement Network (OPTN). The organ allocation policies for lung and heart-lung transplant take into account the recipient's medical urgency and potential benefit from transplant (for adolescents) as well as the blood type, height and geographic factors. The current policy for allocation of lungs is available on the OPTN web site.

For information concerning patient referral and care, please contact: Dr. Stuart Sweet or any of the transplant coordinators at (314) 454-4131.

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