Heart transplant survival

Why we measure it - Overwhelmingly, survival is the first and most important statistic parents and others ask about. In general, centers that have high survival rates for the most complex cases, including transplants, generally have high survival rates for all types of heart procedures.


What this means - Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Herma Heart Center has a consistently high early survival rate for all children undergoing heart surgery.

About the data - These data reflect survival rates for pediatric heart transplant patients from 2006 through 2011 for the first 2000 days after transplant. These data are publicly reported to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

Related dimensions of care:

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How we provide the best care

  • In 2012, our surgeons performed the first heart-liver transplant on a child, birth to age 17, in Wisconsin. This was also the 10th surgery of its kind ever performed on a child in the United States.
  • Our cardiothoracic surgeons have American Board of Thoracic Surgery Certificates in Congenital Heart Surgery.
  • We have experienced rapid growth in the Heart Transplant Program over the last three years with a total of 145 heart transplants since inception of the program in 1991.
  • Heart transplant patients have access to pediatric PT/OT, speech and rehabilitation specialists to enhance and speed recovery. A dedicated pediatric psychologist, pharmacist, social worker and child life specialist consistently are involved to help children and families through the transplant process and facilitate the transition to home and school.
  • The Heart Transplant Program continues to participate as one of 10 centers selected in the FDA-approved trial for the Berlin Heart Ventricular Assist Device in children as a bridge to cardiac transplant.
  • We offer ABO-incompatible heart transplants, which decreases wait times as well as prevents wait-list deaths.
  • The heart program was named a Blue Distinction program by Blue Cross Blue Shield, an award for organizations demonstrating expertise in the delivery of quality care.
  • Children's Hospital is one of the first centers with successful application of a virtual cross-match strategy for heart transplant patients. Virtual cross-match can lead to better outcomes and shorter wait-list times and allows transplant physicians to risk-stratify patients eligible for heart transplant. Collaborating with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin allows Children's Hospital to transplant more patients who are highly sensitized.
  • We offer extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and state-of-the-art pulsatile mechanical support.
  • The Heart Transplant Program is a part of the Herma Heart Center, one of the top 10 pediatric heart programs in the nation.
  • Our Herma Heart Center developed the Pediatric Heart Failure Program to promote early recognition and optimize care of children with advanced heart failure who may need transplantation services.

Family accommodations

Families traveling from long distances are encouraged to use our Family Accommodations Program to make travel arrangements and coordinate appointments. Children's Hospital has partnered with non-profit organizations like Ronald McDonald House to offer comfortable, "home away from home" accommodations. Local hotel chains on our referral list also offer discounts for patient families.