New lung transplant program comes to Chicago
According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 2,000 lung transplants were performed in the United States in 2010. In Illinois, which has a population of 13 million, only about 30 to 50 lung transplants are performed annually, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
There are far more patients in Chicago alone that require transplants. At least 100 patients in the Chicago area annually are in need of lung transplantation, and many of these patients must go out of state for their care, according to Dr. Sinan Simsir, cardiothoracic surgeon at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.
“To put it in perspective, approximately 60 lung transplant programs are active in the country, performing an estimated 1,800 transplants a year, and as few as 11 of these programs perform 50 or more transplants annually,” explains Dr. Simsir, who serves as surgical director of the lung transplant program at Christ Medical Center’s Heart, Vascular and Transplant Institute.
The Institute’s new lung transplant program will address an underserved population of patients in need of new lungs.
“Adding another lung transplant program to the Chicago area will better serve those patients with end stage lung disease,” says Dr. Charles Alex, a specialist in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Institute. “We hope to make a quick impact, and are already listing patients for transplant,” he says.
In 2013, Christ Medical Center performed nearly 20 heart transplants and implanted more than 100 left ventricular assist devices (heart pumps).
The program recently launched with the opening of the new Advocate Christ Medical Center Outpatient Pavilion in March 2014.
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