Saving Lives Through Organ Transplantation
Many children who just a few years ago faced certain death due to major organ failure are receiving an opportunity for a nearly normal quality of life through organ transplantation at St. Louis Children's Hospital. St. Louis Children's Hospital has formal pediatric transplantation programs for:
- lung transplants
- heart transplants
- heart-lung transplants
- liver transplants
- kidney transplants
- bone marrow transplants
Although tremendous progress has occurred in the field of organ transplantation in recent years, children tended to experience more complications. Rejection occurred more frequently in pediatric transplant patients than in adult patients, infections were more common, and pediatric organ donors were even harder to find. New anti-rejection drugs and new drug combinations more effectively control rejection and prevent or treat serious infection with fewer side effects. Innovative surgical techniques -- such as transplanting lobes of lungs and trimmed livers -- are helping alleviate the critical donor shortage for pediatric transplant patients.
Leading the Way in Organ Transplantation
St. Louis Children's Hospital has been at the forefront of pediatric organ transplantation in the United States, thanks in part to its close association with Washington University School of Medicine and the neighboring adult transplant center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The success St. Louis Children's Hospital has experienced in pediatric transplantation has been recognized with national certification by major insurance providers, including the National Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association*, Medicaid, Medicare and CHAMPUS (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services).
St. Louis Children's Hospital's pediatric transplantation success is due to the skilled teams of health care professionals who specialize in caring for children. Every pediatric transplant candidate and his or her family receive individualized attention to help prepare physically, emotionally and financially for the major issues involved in organ transplantation.
Treating Children and Their Families
From evaluation for organ transplant through management of the disease prior to transplant to the transplant surgery and vital follow-up care, the needs of the children and the support needs of their families are the common focus of the team. Major team members include medical physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, clinical nurse specialists, nursing staff, therapists, child life specialists, social workers, financial coordinators and chaplains.
Transplant candidate selection and management of the patient's illness during the wait for organs are other important factors that contribute to the success of the St. Louis Children's Hospital program. A critical component of the program is education of the patient and family about monitoring and administration of anti-rejection medications, recognizing signs of infections or rejection, and returning to a normal lifestyle.
Our Central Location
Centrally located in the Midwest United States, St. Louis Children's Hospital also has an important geographic advantage over many other pediatric organ transplant centers, with the ability to retrieve organs from virtually anywhere in the United States. Many transplant centers on the East and West coasts have had limited success in obtaining donors for prospective recipients. Through a national system, organs are distributed using a complex, geographically based approach.
Transplant Financial Coordinators
Additional Contact Information
Phone -- 314.454.6018 or toll-free 888.503.2237 ext. 46018, bone marrow transplant
Phone -- 314.454.2214, heart transplant
Phone -- 314.454.6289, kidney transplant
Phone -- 314.454.6289, liver transplant
Phone -- 314.454.3636, lung and heart-lung transplant
*Designation as Blue Distinction Centers® means these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.
We offer world-class care to children thanks in part to generous gifts from hundreds of people who have joined us as Guardians of Childhood. This philanthropic support enables us to fulfill our mission to do what's right for kids. Join us in making health care better for all children.