Johns Hopkins Team Successfully Performs Five Heart Transplants In Seven Days


It’s the team’s highest number of heart transplants performed in a week to date
From left, Ahmet Kilic, Antonio Polanco, Chetan Pasrija and Kavita Sharma after the successful completion of five heart transplants in seven days. Credit: Courtesy of Kavita Sharma

The heart transplant team at Johns Hopkins Medicine marked a significant program milestone in early February by successfully completing five adult heart transplants in the span of just seven days. This is the team’s highest number of heart transplants performed in a week to date, and the achievement showcases its unwavering dedication and expertise in the field of organ transplantation.

The accomplishment is attributed to the collaborative efforts of numerous multidisciplinary heart transplant team members, including surgeons Ahmet Kilic, Chetan Pasrija and Antonio Polanco, as well as the invaluable contributions from advanced heart failure/transplant cardiologists, transplant nurse coordinators, and the cardiac and surgical critical care teams who care for the patients pre-transplantation and post-transplantation.

“We are here to provide the best care for the sickest patients with heart failure. From evaluating a patient’s candidacy and caring for them pre-transplant, to donor-recipient matching, followed by adherence to post-transplant care, it truly takes a village to do this,” says Kavita Sharma, associate professor of medicine and director of heart failure and cardiac transplantation. “To accomplish this many heart transplants in a week period, and all successfully with the patients doing well, is absolutely invigorating. It’s why we do what we do.”

“Our entire heart transplant team has been working overtime to reach as many patients with heart failure as possible,” adds Kilic, director of heart transplantation and an associate professor of surgery. “This is a testament to the excellence in patient care and the significant growth of the program with the recent additions of Dr. Pasrija and Dr. Polanco.”

The series of life-saving procedures unfolded at the start of February, a fitting coincidence that aligns with American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart health. Heart disease continues to be the #1 cause of death both in the U.S and globally, claiming nearly 20 million lives worldwide in 2021 according to the American Heart Association. More than 6 million adults in the U.S. have congestive heart failure.