Ask an Expert
- Contact Us and ask an expert about organ and tissue donation.
There are more than 3,800 people awaiting heart transplants in the U.S. Regionally, there are over 135 people awaiting heart transplants.
About the Heart
The life-center of the body, the heart is the hardest working muscle in our bodies, pumping blood throughout the body. And just like any muscle, it can be subject to fatigue, especially if it has been weakened by a number of cardiovascular diseases.
When damaged enough, patients can need a heart transplant. This usually follows conditions such as coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy or weakening of the heart muscle.
Donation is key to saving the life of a patient who is waiting for a heart transplant, as the severity of the weakened heart is critical. The only option, if no transplant is immediately available, is for the patient to be assisted with a mechanical heart called an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device), which can be surgically implanted to maintain blood pumping until a transplant is available.
- Patients wait on average four months for a heart transplant.
- In 2013, there were 2,531 heart transplants performed nationally.
The Interactive Body
Explore the Interactive Body to learn about organs and tissues needed for others awaiting transplants.