Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
When Drug Companies Raise Prices, Patients' Out-of-Pocket Costs RiseMost Top U.S. Surgeons Are White and That's Not ChangingAmericans Missed Almost 10 Million Cancer Screenings During PandemicU.S. Birth Rates Continue to FallBiden Sets New Goal of Vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 41 in 3 Neighborhoods in Major U.S. Cities Is a 'Pharmacy Desert'You Got Your COVID Shot: What to Do With That Vaccine CardFinding a Doctor Is Tough and Getting Tougher in Rural AmericaUrgent Care or the ER? Which Should You Choose?FDA Poised to Ban Menthol CigarettesPoll Reveals Who's Most Vaccine-Hesitant in America and WhyAHA News: Food, Culture and the Secret Ingredient to Address Lack of Diversity in Nutrition FieldCDC Decision on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Expected FridayAHA News: How to Make Sure Everyone Gets a Fair Shot at the COVID-19 VaccineLittle Progress in Boosting Numbers of Black American DoctorsHigh-Profile Police Brutality Cases Harm Black Americans' Mental Health: StudyAHA News: Could the Pandemic Help Boost Diversity in Clinical Trials?Americans Still Avoiding ERs in Pandemic, But Uptick Seen in Mental Health CrisesCDC Panel Says It Needs More Time to Study J&J Vaccine Clotting CasesAHA News: 5 Things to Know This Earth Day About How the Environment Affects Health4 in 10 Adults Over 50 Consult Online Reviews When Picking a DoctorCBD or THC? Cannabis Product Labels Often Mislead, Study FindsPandemic Has Put Many Clinical Trials on HoldDespite Pandemic's Toll, Many Older Adults Don't Have Living Wills'Heart-in-a-Box' Can Be Lifesaving, Matching Up Distant Donors With PatientsPublic Lost Trust in CDC During COVID Crisis: PollNearly 8 in 10 School, Child Care Staff Have Gotten at Least 1 Dose of COVID Vaccine: CDCWhy Are ER Wait Times Getting Longer for Kids in Mental Health Crisis?Buying Your Own Health Insurance Just Got Way Less ExpensiveStrain of COVID Care Has Many Health Professionals Looking for an ExitBlack Americans Often Face Discrimination in Health CareHow Willing Are Americans to Donate COVID Vaccines to Other Countries?Too Few Minorities in U.S. Health Care Workforce: ReportBlack Patients Often Treated at Hospitals With Poorer Safety Records: ReportDon't Delay Your Cancer Screenings, Surgeons' Group UrgesBiden Administration Working on 'Vaccine Passport' InitiativeStates Race to Vaccinate Their ResidentsFDA Clamping Down on Abuse of an OTC  DecongestantShortage of Primary Care Doctors Is Costing American LivesStudy Finds Growing Acceptance of COVID Vaccine by U.S. Health Care Workers'Avoidable Hospitalizations:' Another Way the Pandemic Is Tougher on MinoritiesOn-the-Road Help: 'Mobile Stroke Units' Are Saving People's LivesTalks With Doctors May Be Key to Vaccine Acceptance: StudyAs U.S. Vaccinations Rise, Are 'Vaccine Passports' for Americans Coming?Begin Routine Diabetes Screening at 35 for Overweight, Obese Americans: Task Force'Race Gap' in U.S. Heart Health Has Changed Little in 20 Years: ReportDriven by Anti-Vaxxers, Measles Outbreaks Cost Everyone MoneyScams Await Many Americans Desperate to Get COVID VaccineMore Americans Would Get Lung Cancer Screening Under New GuidelinesGlobal Warming Could Make Survival in Tropics Impossible: Study
Links
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

'Heart-in-a-Box' Can Be Lifesaving, Matching Up Distant Donors With Patients

HealthDay News
by By Sarah Collins HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 8th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A few days after his 74th birthday, Don Stivers received his dream gift -- a new heart.

"I was born with a very lousy heart," he explained. "Growing up, I decided I was going to overcome it and go to the Olympics and be a strong boy. And so everything I did was against doctors' orders. They said don't run, don't do this, but I did anyway, and I would turn blue and pass out, and my mother would revive me."

Stivers went on to be a high jumper at University of California, Los Angeles. He didn't make it to the Olympics, but he stayed active through the years by hiking, playing softball, running, swimming and biking.

When he was around 58, the California native started having problems with his energy. On a particularly difficult day, Stivers' wife drove him four hours to a hospital in Santa Barbara, where he was diagnosed with ventricular fibrillation.

From that point forward, he had implantable cardioverter defibrillators in his chest to help his heartbeat stay on track. He went through six in all.

"Then the last one, the wires had torn the tricuspid valve so badly that the heart was in such sad shape," said Stivers. "My cardiologist sent me to Cedars-Sinai, and because they couldn't repair the heart, I ended up [going to the cardiology] team and they said, 'In your condition, a transplant is the way to go.'"

Stivers, a land surveyor, wasn't the typical candidate for a new heart.

Dr. Dominic Emerson, associate surgical director of heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, said, "We do more adult heart transplants at Cedars than any other center in the country and really the world. Because of that, we're able to expand who we are able to transplant. And as a consequence, some places would not have listed Don because of his age. And then because of his size [he is 6 foot, 4 inches tall], it becomes even fewer the number of organs that he can take."

Fortunately for Stivers, Cedar-Sinai's heart institute was hoping to broaden its donor base with the help of a new technology.

medical staff Staff readying for another mission at Van Nuys airport, Calif.

TransMedics' Organ Care System, nicknamed Heart-in-a-Box, allows organs to live outside of bodies for a longer period of time, meaning hospitals can scout a larger geographic radius for possible donors.

Traditionally, organs are put on ice, where a heart, for example, can only stay viable for about four hours. With Heart-in-a-Box, currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the organ is connected to a portable device that mimics how it would act within the human body.

Cedars-Sinai had taken part in some early Heart-in-a-Box trials within the hospital's normal geographic bounds. But when the surgeons got a call from Hawaii about a relatively large heart that came from a youthful, athletic person, they raced to Van Nuys Airport.

At dinnertime on March 1, Stivers got a phone call.

"We found a match," a hospital employee told him. "You should be down here by the time the donor heart makes it back."

Stivers and his wife arrived at the hospital around midnight, and the operation began a couple of hours later. The procedure was successful, and Stivers became the first person on the mainland to ever receive a heart from Hawaii.

"The surgeon, after he put it in, he sort of out of the corner of his mouth says, 'Trust me, you have the perfect heart,'" Stivers recalled.

Stivers, who was estimated to have six to 12 months left to live with his old heart, is surpassing recovery expectations. He and his wife, kids, grandkids and great grandchildren are grateful for the added time.

"I look forward to cliff jumping and swimming and biking, hiking and doing things," said Stivers. "I'm 74 years old, but I'm 24 in the head."

Now he has the heart to match.

More information

Visit Johns Hopkins Medicine for more on heart transplants.


SOURCES: Don Stivers, heart transplant recipient, Three Rivers, Calif.; Dominic Emerson, MD, associate surgical director, heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support, Smidt Heart Institute, and surgical co-director, cardiac surgery intensive care unit, Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles




328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Monroeville,
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203
Fax:(251)575-9459


powered by centersite dot net