The team of UW Medicine lung-transplant performed its 1,000th transplant procedure and achieved a milestone. UW Medical Center is the 11th U.S. hospital and only such provider in the Pacific Northwest which has gained a volume of 1000. There are ten other U.S. programs that have only reached such a milestone in the lung transplantation procedure. According to Dr. Michael Mulligan, a director for a lung transplant and chief of cardiothoracic surgery program of UW Medicine, “successfully attempt of 1000 lung transfer is a great achievement as the patients and donors are scattered widely including Hawaii and Alaska regions. In most of the situations, the travel time was often greater, which was created more risk”. Since 2009, Dr. Michael and his team in acute care and pulmonology have managed around 50 lung transplants per year at UW Medical Center.
Transplant of the lung is a major surgical procedure, in which a failing or diseased lung is replaced with a healthy lung, mostly obtained from a dead person. A lung transplantation procedure is generally reserved for people who have gone through treatments and medications, though there is no or less sufficient improvement in the state. A lung transplant involves the replacement of one or both lungs, which depend on the medical condition of the patient. Whereas, in some critical situations, the lungs might be transplanted with the heart of the donor. Lung transplantation process involves many complications, though it can significantly improve the quality and health of patient life.
As per Dr. Michael Mulligan, Organ donation is critically important. He always asked people to support the community by signing up to an organ donor. Before 2005, for donor-organ allocation by United Network for Organ Sharing system was prioritized first-come, first-served. After 2005, the system was reformed and prioritize the lung transplant based on patients at most risk of death without prior transplantation. This change has helped many patients to reduce the probability of dying while being on a waiting list. As per National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, among recipients of lung transfer, around 51 percent of patients survive for the five years.