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St. Luke`s heart transplant program proactive in follow-up care

Friday, March 12, 2004

MILWAUKEE, Wis, Two years ago this month, a patient from Bristol, Wisconsin received a new heart. Part of his follow-up care includes monitoring to make sure his body is not rejecting the organ. This week, at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Jeffrey Hosenpud M.D. performed a special procedure to do just that.

During a myocardial biopsy, tiny heart tissue samples were taken and analyzed at a laboratory to monitor the health of the patient’s heart. Anti-rejection medications could then be altered if needed based on the results of the lab tests.

Since physicians like Dr. Hosenpud proactively monitor patients and routinely test for organ rejection, patients have a better chance at long term survival.

The data appears to support this type of approach to patient care. In data collected from July 2000 through June 2002 , St. Luke’s ranked first in one-year patient survial for transplant centers that did sixty or more transplants. Last year, St. Luke’s performed its 500th heart transplant and consistently exceeds patient survival benchmarks according to the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) standards.

St. Luke’s is a part of Aurora Health Care, a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Contact: Jennifer Gross (414-385-2363)

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