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When a heart transplant offers the best hope for children with a life-threatening heart problem, our team has the experience and track record to help.
The Johns Hopkins All Children's Heart Institute is a leading center for neonatal (newborn) and pediatric heart transplant. Our pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top 50 program.
We have performed more than 150 neonatal and pediatric heart transplants for patients with congenital heart defects or acquired heart disease. Our youngest transplant patient was only 5 days old at the time of transplantation. We're one of three pediatric and infant heart transplant programs in the state of Florida - and the state's largest pediatric heart surgery program. Our survival outcomes for heart transplant are outstanding and are published online at SRTR. Our team can provide the full range of cardiovascular support services, including full mechanical support of the heart with extracorporeal mechanical oxygenation (ECMO) and ventricular assist devices. We're designated as an ECMO center of excellence by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, and we were the first pediatric center in Florida to use a ventricular assist device (VAD).
If heart transplant is being considered for your child or patient, please request an evaluation with our team as early as possible.
Please contact us at 727-767-4716 to learn more about our program.
Our multidisciplinary team works together to meet all of your child's medical and developmental needs and provides you and your family with education and support. A transplant coordinator works with the family at each step of the way-before, during and after transplant.
Our dedicated heart transplant team includes:
- A nationally recognized pediatric heart transplant cardiologist with more than 20 years of Heart Transplant experience: Dr. Alfred Asante-Korang. Two internationally recognized pediatric cardiovascular surgeons with extensive heart transplant experience: Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs and Dr. Tom R. Karl.
- Pediatric cardiologists and transplant cardiologists
- Pediatric critical care specialists
- Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists
- Nurse practitioners
- Transplant coordinators
- Nutrition specialists
- Child Life specialists
- Social workers & case managers
As a leading pediatric heart transplant center, we perform heart transplants on patients with some of the most challenging heart problems. Our outcomes are excellent, especially given the high-risk, highly-complex patients referred to us for care.
Our team of pediatric cardiovascular surgeons participates in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD), demonstrating superior results.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital opened a new state-of-the-facility in 2010. One floor is home to our Heart Center, which includes cardiac operating rooms and interventional cardiology suites right alongside the 22-bed Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. The CVICU has individual patient rooms with sleeping accommodations for two parents.
Families can also stay at the comfortable Ronald McDonald Houses located right on our campus.
After discharge, our Transplant Follow-up Clinic is held in the Outpatient Care center located across the street from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Between clinic visits, lab testing, and certain other diagnostic tests may be performed at several of our Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care locations, including Tampa, Sarasota, Lakeland, Pasco (New Port Richey) and Ft. Myers.
Why a Transplant?
Our team of pediatric heart surgeons and cardiologists specializes in treating the most challenging cardiac problems. They work to avoid heart transplant whenever possible. Some children are born with complex congenital heart defects that can't be corrected by surgery, while other patients may develop life-threatening cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle. A heart transplant replaces the patient's diseased heart with a healthy donor heart.
Our team will evaluate your child to explore all medical and surgical treatment options, including heart transplantation. We will perform state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures that may include cardiac catheterization and cardiac MRI. We will also evaluate your child's overall health and immune system.
If the evaluation shows that transplantation is the best option, we will place your child's name on a waiting list with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which matches donor organs with children and adults in the U.S. who need a transplant.
Some children are able to be at home while waiting for a transplant. Others stay in our CVICU and are cared for by the experts on our heart transplant and heart failure team until a donor heart becomes available.
Most of our patients are able to leave the hospital within 4 weeks after transplant. We work closely with families to prepare for life at home after transplant. The Transplant Coordinator will arrange follow-up clinic visits, lab work and biopsies and help with other needs. Other team members will help coordinate temporary home schooling for your child after you return home.
We will help coordinate all of the medications your child will need to take once you are discharged from the hospital. We also help our patients' primary care physicians understand the special health care needs of post-transplant patients to ensure continuity of care.
Our team helps the family-and the patient, especially in the teenage years-become comfortable and confident with the medications and self-care that are needed after transplant. Outpatient visits at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital take place frequently at first and gradually transition to just a few visits per year. The goal is for our transplant patients to become healthy and independent adults.
We offer ongoing patient and family education and support in the post-transplant years, including a patient/family support group. Many of our cardiac surgery and transplant patients are invited to attend Camp Boggy Creek (Florida) each summer for a wonderful experience We help our post-transplant patients lead active and fulfilling lives as they prepare for their journey to adulthood - and because we know their unique medical and cardiac history, we continue to provide post-transplant cardiology and adult congenital heart disease services into adulthood.
Research & Education
Research and education on heart disease and heart transplant outcomes are an important focus at the Johns Hopkins All Children's Heart Institute. We take part in the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Research Consortium and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database. We publish our research findings and we organize international seminars that bring together leaders in pediatric cardiology, heart surgery and transplantation to share innovative approaches to care.
Quality and Safety
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital places the highest priority on quality and patient safety. Our Transplant Team and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit staff make patient safety and quality of care their number one focus.