Ochsner Celebrates Transplant Milestones, Joins LOPA in Challenging Louisiana Residents & Businesses

Added on Jan 20, 2008 | Filed Under:

NEW ORLEANS - On Tuesday, January 22, 2008, from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, at Ochsner Medical Center, 1514 Jefferson Highway, New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System will celebrate three major medical milestones, its 1000th liver, 1000th kidney, and 700th heart transplants. In recognition, Ochsner is joining forces with Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) to issue a 2008 challenge to Louisiana residents - Make Life Happen. Residents are being asked to consider becoming an organ donor and make their wishes known.

"Saving lives is Ochsner's mission and we're joining with LOPA to ask Louisiana residents to make an informed and personal decision to donate life and enable medical professionals to continue saving lives," says Dr. Patrick Quinlan, Chief Executive Officer of Ochsner Health System. "With the public's help, we hope to celebrate even more lives and milestones in the coming years."

"At  LOPA, we envision a world in which no one suffers due to a lack of donor organs or tissues therefore we're joining Ochsner today to recognize lives saved, encourage residents to donate life, and ask businesses to become Workplace Partners," explains Kelly Ranum, LOPA Executive Director.  Workplace Partners invites LOPA to work with local businesses to provide employees with information related to the donation process and the lives saved through transplantation, and how to sign up and make wishes known.

"Ochsner has joined the challenge to become a Workplace Partner with LOPA. We pledge to inform more than 10,000 Ochsner employees on the benefits of donating life and offer them the choice," says Dr. Quinlan. "In turn, we now challenge our local business colleagues to do the same and become Workplace Partners with LOPA."

The most important step an individual needs to take in order to become an organ donor is to make their wishes known, of which there are several methods:

  • Register to Donate Life at www.lopa.org
  • Call 1-800-521-GIVE (4483)
  • Drivers license - Louisiana DMV
  • If under 18 years, make your wishes known to parent or guardian

Ochsner Transplant Milestones: Liver, Kidney and Heart

  • Ochsner performed its first liver transplant in 1975. The 1,000th liver transplant was performed at Ochsner by Drs. Ian Carmody and Dr. George Loss, Director, Abdominal Transplant at Ochsner and Transplant Surgeon on November 7, 2007.
  • Ochsner performed its first kidney transplant in 1973. The 1,000th kidney was transplanted at Ochsner on March 9, 2005 by transplant surgeon Dr. Ari Cohen.
  • Dr. John Ochsner, Cardiovascular Surgeon, performed the region's first heart transplant in 1970 at Ochsner. With the availability of effective anti-rejection treatments, the modern era of the Ochsner Heart Transplant Program began in 1985. The 700th heart was transplanted on November 12, 2007 by heart surgeon Dr. Gene Parrino in conjunction with the medical team of Dr. Hector Ventura, head of Ochsner Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center. Ochsner is currently one of just two heart transplant facilities in Louisiana and the most active in the state.

All three patients are doing well, and Ochsner joins the ranks of just ¬¬¬10 transplant centers to celebrate 700 heart transplants and 22 transplant centers in the U.S. to celebrate 1,000 liver and 1,000 kidney transplants.

Dr. Loss explains that, "Since its inception, the Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Center has performed over 2,700 life-saving liver, kidney and pancreas, heart and lung transplants making it the Gulf South's leading transplant center." He goes on to cite Ochsner's abdominal transplantation program as possessing some of the best survival rates in the nation.  Since Dr. Loss assumed leadership of our abdominal transplant programs in July 2005:

  • 1-year Ochsner liver transplant patient survival rate of 96% (National patient survival rate 87%)
  • 1-year Ochsner kidney transplant graft survival 96% (National graft survival rate 92%)

In 2000, Ochsner's Heart Transplant Program celebrated its 500th heart transplant performed by Ochsner Clinic cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Clifford Van Meter.  Just 8 years later, Ochsner marks its 700th operation. Ochsner has consistently been recognized as among the ten largest cardiac transplantation programs in the United States with some of the best survival rates in the nation.

Ochsner's first heart transplant recipient is surviving 23 years post-transplant. Additionally, Ochsner has 5 recipients alive 20 years post-transplant, and is currently caring for more than 400 heart transplant recipients.
Ochsner performs more transplants per year than any other transplant facility in the region; is a Medicare approved transplant center for heart, liver and kidney transplantation and performs ongoing clinical and laboratory research projects representing all aspects of transplantation. For more information, call Ochsner's 24-hour Transplant hotline at (800) 643-1635.

Ochsner Health System (http://www.ochsner.org) is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. The system includes seven hospitals, a sub-acute facility, and 33 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana. Ochsner employs over 600 physicians in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts 450 ongoing clinical research trials annually.

About LOPA
The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) is the only federally-designated organ procurement organization for the State of Louisiana and has offices in Metairie, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport with representatives in Alexandria, Lake Charles, and Monroe.  For more information, visit http://www.lopa.org.
"Our mission is to educate the medical community and public about organ and tissue donation issues, to recover donated organs and tissue and place them for transplant, and work with families through the donation process," explains Ranum.

In addition to providing clinical expertise related to organ and tissue donation, LOPA serves a key role in educating medical professionals in hospitals and helping ensure compliance with regulatory and accrediting agencies. We have staff dedicated to coordinating hospital resources, and we provide a wealth on information related to the donation process.

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