WVU Medicine is West Virginia’s first and only fully functional multi-organ transplant center, offering both heart and kidney transplants to patients from across the state and region. Now West Virginians who have a heart or kidney transplant need can get the care they need at WVU Medicine and not have to leave the state.
Heart transplant, performed by the cardiac surgeons of the West Virginia University Heart and Vascular Institute, is a cornerstone of the WVU heart failure team. Heart failure is the most common heart-related reason for hospital admission and readmission in West Virginia. As the only multidisciplinary Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support (LVAD), Pulmonary Hypertension, and Transplant team in West Virginia, our team of experts goes above and beyond to bring the highest quality and most comprehensive service for patients across the region.
Quick Facts about the WVU Medicine Advanced Heart Failure Program
- First center in West Virginia to offer and successfully perform heart transplant – Patients no longer need to leave the state for this life-saving therapy.
- The multidisciplinary heart failure team includes pharmacists, specialty-trained nurses, exercise physiologists, social workers, dietitians, and expert physician team members.
- Recognized High Performing in Heart Failure by U.S. News & World Report as part of its 2019-20 Best Hospitals in the United States.
- The first in West Virginia to successfully implant the life-saving heart pump known as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Now, patients in West Virginia and nearby states no longer need to leave the state to obtain this advanced heart failure therapy.
- Only center in West Virginia to offer both oral and intravenous therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension.
- West Virginia’s only dedicated cardio-oncology program. We provide specialized care to assist in the prevention, detection, monitoring, and treatment of cardiovascular toxicities related to cancer therapy, as well as delivering optimal care to those with cancer and established cardiovascular disease.
- Recognized for Excellence in Heart Failure, receiving the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure.
- One of 16 national sites of excellence to offer the CardioMEMS™ HF system, the first and only FDA-approved heart failure (HF) monitoring system proven to significantly reduce HF hospital admissions and improve quality of life in NYHA class Ill patientsZ
The Center for Advanced Heart Failure and Mechanical Cardiology Support, the only such center in the region, is an area of special care at WVU Medicine. It provides IV inotropic therapy to stable outpatients with advanced heart failure, with a goal of improving functional level and avoiding hospitalization.
The Center is an important resource for the state, reducing the number of emergency room visits and lowering health costs for heart patients. Many patients receive treatment through medication. The treatments are especially useful for patients who are at the maximum dosage of other heart drugs, people awaiting a heart transplant, or people who have a heart muscle disease. The treatment also helps patients breathe more easily.
According to United Network for Organ Sharing and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, more than 670,000 Americans live with end-stage renal disease, and more than 100,000 people are on the kidney transplant waitlist, including 271 kidney transplant candidates from West Virginia.
Kidney failure can result from a variety of problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus
- Genetic diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease
- Some medications, such as chemotherapy
West Virginia has some of the highest rates of kidney failure and dialysis in the country. Common types of treatment for kidney failure are dialysis and kidney transplantation. Dialysis, which uses a machine to filter waste out of the body, can be a bridge to transplant or can serve as a treatment for those who cannot have or do not want a transplant.
There are two kinds of kidney transplant – deceased donor transplant and living donor transplant. Patients who receive a kidney transplant live longer and have a better quality of life than those on dialysis.
For more information about heart or kidney transplantation, or to refer a potential heart or kidney transplant patient, contact the WVU Medicine Transplant Alliance at 304-974-3004.
To register as an organ donor, visit www.registerme.org/wvumedicine.