Edmonton called the ‘Heart Transplant
Capital of Canada’
Capital Health’s University of Alberta Hospital and Stollery Children’s
Hospital performed a record number of heart transplants in 2005,
reconfirming Edmonton’s status as the heart transplant capital of
Heart transplant volumes in 2005 were almost double those of the
previous year. In 2005, the transplant teams performed 38 adult heart
transplants and 16 pediatric heart transplants, a total of 54
procedures, compared to 20 adults and 9 children in 2004.
One of those patients was 43-year-old Gerald Beyers of Spruce Grove,
Alberta, who received a new heart in June 2005. Once critically ill and
hospitalized for five months, the father of two is planning to return to
work in June. “Before my transplant I couldn’t walk up five stairs. Now
I can do a 30-minute cardio workout and leg press 365 pounds. The
difference in my life is like night and day.”
There are three reasons for the increased number of heart transplants,
says Dr. Arvind Koshal, Capital Health’s Regional Program Clinical
Director for Cardiac Sciences and Director, Division of Cardiac Surgery,
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.
“First, we’re absolutely committed to transplantation. We’ve broken down
age barriers for both recipients and donors, and built up expertise here
that allows us to match a wider range of donor organs and recipients.
Second, there’s growing awareness of what we’re doing here, so our
colleagues are referring more patients and donor organs to us, from as
far away as Alaska, California, and the East Coast. And third, the
region and government support us 100 percent – we couldn’t succeed
without the commitment of the whole region.”
“We’re very proud of our results,” adds Dr. Ivan Rebeyka, Capital
Health’s Director of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, Stollery
Children’s Hospital. “We have been able to find a heart for every child
that has been listed for transplant. It’s very significant that in the
last three years, every patient listed for transplant has been
transplanted and no child has died while waiting for a new heart.”
The heart transplant program demonstrates the benefit of a consolidated
centre of excellence, says Sheila Weatherill, President and CEO of
Capital Health. “Through partnerships like the Western Canadian
Children’s Heart Network, we’re able to provide world-class care to
patients from all four western provinces,” says Weatherill. “We’re proud
to be a leader and a resource for the West; and we’ll see that role
expand further with the opening of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart
Institute in the Fall of 2007.”
About Capital Health
Capital Health in Edmonton is Canada’s largest academic health region,
providing complete health services to one million residents in the
cities of Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Spruce Grove and St.
Albert, and the counties of Leduc, Parkland, Strathcona and Sturgeon
(and communities within their geographical areas), as well as the Town
of Devon and communities in the eastern part of Yellowhead County.
Capital Health serves a total of 1.6 million people across
central and northern Alberta, providing specialized services such as
trauma and burn treatment, organ transplants and high-risk obstetrics.
About The Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute
Opening in Fall 2007, the $194 million Mazankowski Alberta Heart
Institute will be a world class centre of excellence in the prevention
and treatment of heart disease through patient care, education and
research. It includes Canada’s largest heart transplant program and
provides all pediatric open heart surgery for the Prairie provinces.
Developed by Capital Health with the University of Alberta, the Heart
Institute will serve Alberta, the Prairies and the Canadian North.