Miami Transplant Institute pauses adult heart transplant program

MIAMI – The Miami Transplant Institute has put its adult heart transplant program on hold, officials said Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the institute, which has been a 52-year-old collaboration between Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami, said it was undergoing “an in-depth review of (its) care” and “will not accept new cases during this time.”

Officials wouldn’t say how long the program will be suspended, but said the institute “will reinstate the program after a thorough assessment and a clear plan to recruit additional world-class clinicians.”

Pediatric heart transplants will continue.

A University of Miami spokesperson deferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital for comment.

A lack of staffing could be to blame.

Sources tell Local 10 News that the institute is looking for a new chief of heart transplants.

The Miami Transplant Institute’s website touts that no other center in the nation has performed more transplants.

“The way we have risen to this level to be the largest center in the country is by finding a way to do transplants that are more complex than other places,” a promotional video says.

But on Wednesday, Jackson officials wouldn’t grant an interview request from Local 10 News or expand on the hospital’s statement and the impacts of its temporary decision to pause the adult heart transplant program.

Coincidentally, in Washington, the federal government announced it is overhauling the organ transplant system on Wednesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services wants more accountability and transparency.

More than 100,000 people nationwide are on transplant waiting lists.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.