News Releases

News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Transplant Center Pioneering Approaches that Improve Outcomes From Organ Transplants

April 25-29 is Organ Donor Awareness Week

For decades, transplant surgeons and physicians at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have been at the forefront of pioneering new approaches to organ transplantation and have performed more pediatric organ transplants than any other center in the world. Children's also has achieved patient survival rates that are among the highest in the nation.

The one-year survival rate for liver transplant recipients at Children's is 100 percent, compared to a national average of 90 percent, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. The one-year survival rate for kidney transplant recipients at Children's is 100 percent (national average is 99 percent). The three-year survival rate for heart transplant recipients at Children's is 90 percent (national average 80 percent). And the two-year survival rate for intestine transplant recipients at Children's is 91 percent (international average 70 percent).

Physicians at Children's are pioneering new techniques and approaches to diagnosing rejection using non-invasive techniques; weaning patients off immunosuppression therapy; developing genetic tests to determine which patients will have the best outcomes from transplantation; and developing transplant as a treatment for certain diseases that previously had no effective treatment or cure.

During Organ Donor Awareness Week, April 25-29, 2005, Children's wants to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and how these new strategies are improving and saving lives.

"We've helped reduce the waiting list for pediatric liver transplants by offering living donor and split-liver transplants and are achieving the highest survival rates in the country," said George V. Mazariegos, MD, director of pediatric transplant surgery at Children's. "However, there continue to be young patients who die each year waiting for an intestine transplant because of a lack of intestines available for transplant. Despite all of our advancements and technology, we are still limited in our ability to save lives by the number of organs donated for transplant."

Children's also has one of the most successful pediatric heart and heart-lung transplant programs in the country, according to Steven A. Webber, MBChB, medical director of Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplantation at Children's.

"I am humbled each and every time a family makes the decision to donate a loved ones organs to help save another child's life. Each organ we receive is a precious gift that gives another child a chance for life," Dr. Webber said.

Children's offers liver, intestine, liver-intestine, kidney, kidney-pancreas, heart, lung, heart-lung, and blood and bone marrow transplants. For more information on Children's transplantation programs, please visit

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
February 19, 2008
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Last Update
February 19, 2008