St. Luke’s in Houston reopens its heart transplant program after safety issues

According to the Houston Chronicle, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center has reopened its heart transplant program, two weeks after shutting it down to conduct an internal review of recent deaths.

The hospital said it did not find any systemic problems, but it reorganized its transplant surgery team, refined the criteria for accepting patients, and made other changes including having the program's top lung transplant surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Loor, perform or participate in every heart transplant going forward, working with the heart program's surgical director.  The heart program is also recruiting two additional cardiac surgeons.

The decision to temporarily halt the program came after an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and Propublica found St. Luke's performed a larger than expected number of transplants resulting in deaths and had lost several top physicians.