The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has recognized Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center's Heart Transplant Program as the nation's best. The survey by HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to evaluate and recognize the country's highest performing organ-transplant programs.
As one of the largest heart transplant programs in the country, UCLA sees some of the most critically ill patients, yet the survival rates are impressive. One-year survival is 90 percent, and three-year is 75 percent, both figures higher than the national average. A contributing factor to these statistics is the after-transplant care and control of rejection factors. UCLA heart transplant surgeons, who perform an average of 100 transplants per year, have developed innovative ways to save the lives of patients with end-stage heart failure who otherwise may die while waiting for a donated organ because they are considered too old or sick. Alternate, or nonstandard, donor hearts are increasingly used at UCLA for higher risk recipients and critically ill patients with end-stage heart failure. These patients would be turned down in many other transplant programs because of their age or multiple risk factors.
UCLA heart transplantation benefits from the institution's overall interest in organ transplantation. Physician scientists are working toward ways to improve methods to recover and preserve the organ until it is implanted into the recipient. We have pioneered technologies, not only to prolong preservation time, but also to reperfuse the heart with blood from the recipient once the organ is transplanted. In genetic, tissue-engineering and stem-cell research, UCLA is investigating mechanisms to regenerate cardiac muscle so patients with damaged hearts will not require transplantation, or to stimulate the heart to improve its own blood supply through angiogenesis
Despite these innovations, cardiovascular diseases remain the number-one cause of death in the U.S., and are a significant burden on our society. In order to stay at the forefront of treating cardiovascular disease, UCLA faculty members depend upon resources that extend beyond those currently available in today's economic environment. Your support will ensure the continuation of UCLA's educational, patient care, and research endeavors. Thank you, in advance, for your generosity to Heart Transplantation at UCLA.
Learn more about how you can support the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at https://giving.ucla.edu/cardiothoracic