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February 14, 2021/Features & Updates

Organ Transplants Reach Record Levels at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in 2020

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Organ transplants reached record levels at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2020. 629 transplants were performed at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, including heart, kidney, liver and lung transplants. That’s up 5 percent from the number of transplants performed at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in 2019.

Charles Miller, MD, Enterprise Director of Transplantation, led a multidisciplinary team to develop and establish protocols that made it possible to continue to transplant patients safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the pandemic, Cleveland Clinic’s Transplant Center reached several milestones in 2020.

While Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in Cleveland, Ohio, set a record number of transplants in 2020, Cleveland Clinic’s hospital system as a whole saw a slight (2 percent) decrease in its overall transplantation numbers.

According to UNOS, organ donation from deceased donors in the United States set an all-time record in 2020. However, the total number of transplants from both living and deceased donors performed in 2020 in the United States slightly declined from the record set in 2019, which is attributed to a decrease in living donor transplants during the pandemic.

Here are some of the inspiring Cleveland Clinic patients impacted by organ donation in 2020:

Born Without a Uterus, Woman Gives Birth After Uterus Transplant
Cleveland Clinic delivers a second baby in its uterus transplant trial. Michelle waited more than a year before undergoing a 14-hour uterus transplant. It paved the way to her becoming a mom to baby Cole in March 2020.

Cystic Fibrosis Patient Receives Cleveland Clinic’s 2,000th Lung Transplant
In July, 35-year-old Kurt Pilker became Cleveland Clinic’s 2,000th lung transplant recipient. It felt like déjà vu, because he was also the approximately 1,300th lung transplant patient in 2013. Kurt was born with cystic fibrosis, which damages the lung and other organs. Following his first transplant, he was able to attend college and get married. He’s hoping his second transplant gives him the ability to travel and lead a more normal life, again.

Uncle’s Living Donor Liver Donation Saves Toddler’s Life
At 17 months old, Brooks was dying from acute liver failure. He needed a liver transplant to survive. A living donor liver donation from his Uncle Grant didn’t just save Brooks’ life. It also saved Grant’s.

Man Receives Four Transplanted Organs, “Happy to be Alive!”
Throughout four years, Brian received four transplanted organs. He is the first patient at Cleveland Clinic to receive a double-organ transplant (liver and kidney) after receiving a double-lung transplant.

Register to become an organ donor with Lifebanc and you could save up to eight lives.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

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