Loyola Medicine Performs Illinois’ First Heart Transplant With New Transport Technology

Newswise – MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine finished first Heart transplant using a newly developed cardiac transport system. the Paragonix SherpaPak® System aims to change the way hearts are transported during transplantation, using a cartridge that monitors temperature rather than wrapping the heart in ice.

Since the first successful heart transplant in the late 1960s, donor hearts have been stored during transport in a storage solution in a cooler filled with ice. When longer trips are required to retrieve a donor’s organs, this method risks freezing the donor’s heart. Studies have shown that the unpredictable cooling caused by a rapid decrease in temperature can adversely affect the integrity of the donor’s heart.

“We are very pleased to be the first in Illinois to use this technology,” said Edwin McGee Jr., MD, FACS, surgical director of heart transplantation and ventricular assist device program at Loyola Medicine. “The allocation of donor hearts changed in 2018 to prioritize the sickest patients, which often means longer supply cycles. The SherpaPak may mitigate some of the risks associated with longer ischemic periods. “

The Paragonix SherpaPak® is a lightweight donor organ shipping system that provides a constant and stable thermal environment for over 40 hours. According to Paragonix, the initial data from SherpaPak shows a 54% decrease in severe primary graft dysfunction and a 28% decrease in the length of stay in intensive care compared to heart transplants using the traditional transport method. (D’Alessandro et al., The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 2021, Volume 40, Issue 4, Supplement, S127, April 01, 2021)

By using the SherpaPak for transporting the donor’s heart, there was no waiting time for the heart to warm up. “The heart is moved,” said Dr. McGee. Recovering, the patient needed less medicine to wake the heart and almost no medicine to keep it moving.

Dr. McGee has always been at the forefront of new technologies to help patients with cardiovascular disease and conditions. He was the first surgeon in North America to implant two HeartWare® continuous flow ventricular assist devices in a patient – one device in each ventricle. Dr McGee said: “We are always looking to make heart transplants safer and better. Being part of the first transplant in Illinois using this technology is incredibly rewarding.

Images of the Paragonix SherpaPak® and images of Dr. McGee are available via this Dropbox link. An additional animation of the device is available on Youtube.

To learn more about Loyola Medicine or to make an appointment with a cardiovascular specialist, visit loyolamedicine.org.


About Loyola Medicine

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a nationally-ranked academic and quaternary healthcare system based in the western suburbs of Chicago. The three-hospital system includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and MacNeal Hospital, as well as convenient locations providing primary care, specialist care and immediate care services from more than 1,800 physicians across the region. Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola is a 547-bed licensed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. & Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, the largest burn center in the Illinois, a certified comprehensive stroke center and children’s hospital. Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its academic affiliation with the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago and the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with the newly renovated Judd A. Weinberg Emergency Department, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care, and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research Facility at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center. MacNeal is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric services, acute rehabilitation, inpatient skilled nursing and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. Loyola Medical Group, a team of primary and specialty care physicians, provides care at over 15 facilities in the Chicago area. For more information visit loyolamedicine.org. You can also follow Loyola Medicine on LinkedIn, Facebook Where Twitter.

About Trinity Health

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the country, serving diverse communities comprising over 30 million people in 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 100 continuing care facilities that include PACE programs, senior residences, and home and palliative care services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits per year. Based in Livonia, Mich., And with annual operating revenues of $ 18.8 billion and assets of $ 30.5 billion, the organization donates $ 1.3 billion to its communities each year under form of charitable care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs approximately 123,000 colleagues, including 6,800 salaried physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its concern for the country’s aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of senior emergency services, the largest nonprofit home health service provider – ranked by number of visits – in the country, as well as the main supplier of PACE in the country. (All-inclusive care program for the elderly) depending on the number of programs available. For more information visit trinity-health.org. You can also follow Trinity Health on LinkedIn, Facebook Where Twitter.

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