February 2019    
         
         
 
     
     
  Historic hat tricks  
     
     
  UChicago Medicine performs record-setting triple-organ transplants back to back.  
     
     
   
 
     
  Triple-organ transplant patient Sarah McPharlin hugs heart transplant surgeon Valluvan Jeevanandam. (Photo courtesy UChicago Medicine)  
     
 
     
     
  Two hearts, two livers, two kidneys, two new leases on life.  
     
     
  This past December, two 29-year-old patients underwent marathon triple-organ transplants at the University of Chicago Medicine. They were only the 16th and 17th such surgeries performed in the United States; two of these procedures had never been performed within the same year, let alone back to back.  
     
     
  UChicago Medicine, which has a long history of transplant breakthroughs, has now done more heart-liver-kidney transplants than any other hospital in the world.  
     
     
  The timing wasn't planned, but transplantation teams must be adaptable. Sarah McPharlin, who received her first heart transplant when she was 12 after contracting giant cell myocarditis, was admitted in early November when her second heart failed, damaging her liver and kidneys in the process. Two transplant offers arose but fell through.  
     
     
  Around the same time, Daru Smith was hospitalized with pneumonia, five years after being diagnosed with sarcoidosis, which had damaged his heart, liver, and kidneys. The doctors planning McPharlin's treatment were already in the triple-transplant mindset and knew they could help Smith, too.  
     
     
   
 
     
  Transplant recipients Sarah McPharlin and Daru Smith walk through the hospital. (Photo courtesy UChicago Medicine)  
     
 
     
     
  Both procedures followed a similar plan. The hearts were transplanted by chief cardiac surgeon Valluvan Jeevanandam, who has performed the heart transplants in all of UChicago's heart-liver-kidney surgeries. Talia Baker, director of the liver transplant program, went next. And finally, kidney and pancreas program director Yolanda Becker finished the process. It took a 22-person team 37 hours--20 with McPharlin, then 17 with Smith--to complete the surgeries.  
     
     
  "The real heroes are the donors," says Baker. "It's always amazing to me that in the face of whatever unknown tragedy just happened to them, these donor families are able to have the peace of mind to consider donation and to give a gift of life to complete strangers."  
     
 
 
 
     
  Heart health news  
     
     
 
     
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Aspirin helps prevent heart attacks and strokes, but it's not a one-size-fits-all treatment.
 
     
     
     
     
 
     
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UChicago physician Gabriel Sayer demystifies heart failure.
 
     
     
     
     
 
     
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Not all carbs are bad for heart health.
 
     
     
     
     
 
     
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If you didn't have high blood pressure before 2018, you might now. Understand the new blood pressure guidelines.
 
     
     
     
     
 
     
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The eyes are the windows to the heart. Your eye doctor can help identify cardiovascular problems.
 
     
     
     
     
 
     
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Heart disease presents differently in women than men. Learn about the signs and risk factors.
 
     
 
     
 
         
         
    Spotlight    
         
         
 
     
     
  Pump up the jam  
     
     
   
 
     
  (iStock.com/Pratchaya)  
     
 
     
     
  Did you learn CPR in high school health class?  
     
     
  Terry Vanden Hoek, MD'91, the University of Illinois at Chicago's emergency medicine department head and the Chicago Medical Society's 2018 Physician of the Year, thinks teaching CPR in school can improve cardiac arrest survival rates.  
     
     
  Through his Illinois Heart Rescue initiative, he found that high school students who learn CPR can "become powerful agents of change," teaching their family and community.  
     
     
  CPR instructors have long used "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees--at 103 beats per minute--to teach the correct tempo for chest compressions.* (Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" also works, at a slightly quicker 110 BPM.) This tempo also works for pet pals in arrest.  
     
     
  Today's high schoolers, who might not know the Brothers Gibb from Fallon and Timberlake, could benefit from a more contemporary guide. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital created a CPR-appropriate Spotify playlist, which includes the disco anthem as well as music from this decade.  
     
     
  If you've never been formally taught, or if the Bee Gees were actually on the radio when you were last certified, should you still attempt CPR? The Mayo Clinic says yes--but chest compressions only until trained help arrives.  
     
     
  *To learn more about the debated benefit of CPR songs, read Achy breaky makey wakey heart? A randomised crossover trial of musical prompts.  
     
 
 
     
  In case you missed it  
     
 
 
Membrane trust: Argonne designs fitter filters for cleaner water.
 
 
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