Lung transplantation is sometimes the only viable treatment option for children with end-stage pulmonary and pulmonary vascular disease. The pediatric lung transplant program at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) performed nearly half of all pediatric lung transplant procedures undertaken worldwide between 1990 through 2003 and continues to be one of the most active pediatric lung transplant programs in the world with more than 300 children having received lung or heart-lung transplants at our Institutions. Washington University is a collaborator in multicenter studies of outcomes in pediatric lung transplant patients, funded by the National Institutes of Health through the Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation in Children (CTOT-C) program.
Physicians from the Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine and the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery work closely with a multi-disciplinary team including, transplant nurse coordinators, pediatric cardiologists, respiratory and physical therapists, social workers, child life workers, psychologists, dieticians and financial coordinators. Each member of this team contributes to comprehensive support for the patient family and consultation, as needed to the referring physicians.
Potential transplant candidates are referred to SLCH from health care centers worldwide. After a thorough evaluation, acceptable candidates are listed with United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization in the United States that manages the Organ Transplantation and Procurement Network (OPTN). The organ allocation policies for lung and heart-lung transplant take into account the recipient’s medical urgency and potential benefit from transplant as well as the blood type, height and geographic factors. The current policy for allocation of lungs is available on the OPTN web site.
For information concerning patient referral and care, please contact the transplant coordinators at 314-454-3636.