Baylor St. Luke's heart transplant program resumes after 2-week review

Photo does not have a caption

HOUSTON – The heart transplant program at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston resumed Friday after a two-week pause.

Officials said on June 1 that the program would be suspended for 14 days in order to review the program and two recent deaths. Officials said no donor hearts would be accepted during the hiatus.

On Friday, officials said that the review was complete, outlined findings and changes made as a result.
Hospital officials said that the review “did not identify systemic issues related to the quality of the program.” 

Officials said that changes that resulted from the review include: expansion of the role of Dr. Gabriel Loor, the co-chief of adult cardiac surgery; refinement of the criteria for the patient selection process; and a reorganization of the multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

A transplant committee has also been formed and will continue to review the program and recommend any changes that should be made, officials said.

“Baylor St. Luke’s believes strongly that improvement is a never-ending process,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine. “Although this voluntary pause in the program is complete, we will continue to recruit additional surgical and clinical expertise, refine procedures and practices, and implement improvements as soon as we identify opportunities.”

Officials said there are more than 60 patients who are qualified for the Baylor St. Luke’s program that are awaiting donor hearts for transplant.

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.