Established in 1986, St. Louis Children's Hospital pediatric heart transplant program has given new life to more than 380 patients, ranging in age from 3 days to 22 years. It is one of the most active pediatric heart transplant programs in the United States, with patients coming from as far away as Florida, Minnesota and Texas.
Berlin Heart Device Saves Children at St. Louis Children's Hospital
Our Pediatric Heart Transplant Team of cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, nurse clinicians, nursing staff members, social workers and therapists works in concert with the family to prepare for the heart transplant surgery, keep the patient in optimal health during the wait for an organ and rebuild health and strength following the heart transplant surgery procedure.
Diagnoses that may require heart transplant
About the procedure
- Typically a four-hour procedure, heart transplant at St. Louis Children's Hospital averages about an 11-day hospital stay.
- The one-year survival rate for children who have received heart transplants at St. Louis Children's Hospital is approaching 90 percent.
- Infants (under 1 year old) who received new hearts at St. Louis Children's Hospital have an 84 percent survival rate compared to the national one-year survival rate for the same age group of 67 percent.
Baby Liam, born with a congenital heart defect, receives a heart transplant.
St. Louis Children's Hospital's one-year survival rate for children over 1 year of age is 86 percent vs. 81 percent nationally.
- Both the infants and older pediatric patients exhibit normal development levels for their ages. The majority of children attend school and participate in a variety of normal childhood activities.
Post-surgery follow-up care
With 75 percent of St. Louis Children's Hospital's heart transplant referrals coming from outside the metropolitan St. Louis area, the hospital has developed a strong network of cardiologists throughout the region who are familiar with heart transplant follow-up care.
The goal is to return pediatric transplant patients to their local cardiologists for follow-up care in an effort to increase patient and family satisfaction and convenience, and to facilitate a combined team approach for continued care.
Frequent contact between the heart transplant team and the local cardiologist ensures continued communication about the patient's progress and treatment plan.