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UK HealthCare surgeons are first to perform novel procedures prior to transplant
Date:10/31/2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2011) Surgeons at UK HealthCare recently became the first ever to perform two specific procedures together as a bridge to lung transplantation. Wanda Craig, of Lexington, Ky., is the first patient in history to receive these procedures, and at the age of 68, she is also the oldest living human to be bridged to transplant using an artificial lung device, also known as an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

For more than 10 years, Craig has been treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, getting oxygen assistance on an almost continual basis. In November 2010, her condition worsened and she was unable to do the everyday activities she used to do.

"I realized that things were really taking a turn for the worst when I was so out of breath from walking to the kitchen and I didn't have enough energy to even scoop ice cream out of the carton," said Craig.

After being hospitalized and then transferred to the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital due to the severity of her case, Craig underwent the ECMO and heart procedures that saved her life.

"I feel like a miracle," Craig said. "I feel like I owe so much to UK and the medical staff here." And a miracle she is in more ways than one.

"Mrs. Craig, although treated for COPD and emphysema, actually suffered from pulmonary hypertension and when her situation became more severe that caused the right half of her heart to fail as the heart tried to work harder to get the oxygen it needed," said Dr. Charles Hoopes, UK HealthCare's new director of the UK Heart and Lung Transplant Program and the director of the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program. "When the right side of the heart fails -- called right ventricular failure -- the blood cannot go through the lungs to fill the left side of the heartwith an empty left side of the heart there is less blood to pump to the body and the patient develops heart f
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Contact: Julia Meador
Julie.Meador@uky.edu
859-323-2395
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

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