The Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant Program acts as one of the major referral centers for the Western United States. We performed our first transplant in 1984 and have performed over 200 to date. The program is a coordinated effort among pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, dentists, nurse coordinators, nutritional specialists, social workers, and child developmental specialists. The program is directed by Dr. Juan Alejos of Pediatric Cardiology and Dr. Brian Reemtsen of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Medical support is provided by Drs. Greg Perens and Nancy Halnon and Joyleen Martinez ACNP. Dr. Hillel Laks also adds his expertise to the team.
This multidisciplinary team has extensive experience in the care of pediatric patients who require heart or heart-lung transplants. Patients from infancy to young adulthood may be evaluated for heart or heart-lung transplantation by team members as either inpatients or outpatients. A wide range of patients are evaluated including those with complex congenital heart disease. Our overall experience results in program survivals which exceed national standards. We also have available ventricular assist devices including the Berlin Heart. These devices may serve to provide circulatory support as a bridge to successful cardiac transplantation. The evaluation is enhanced by the multidisciplinary approach as well as the wealth of knowledge available at UCLA, which is one of the leading centers in the United States in pediatric organ transplantation. In combination with the Pediatric Heart Failure Program, the Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant Program offers new hope to pediatric patients with failing hearts.