A Destination for Children Who Need Transplant Care

April 30, 2024

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is a leader in pediatric transplant surgery, having performed more than 1,700 solid organ transplants since 1964.

Every year in April, organ, eye, tissue, blood and marrow donors are recognized as part of Donate Life Month, and it's an apt time to highlight Lurie Children’s premier transplantation programs.

In April alone, Lurie Children’s transplant teams completed a hospital record of 15 solid organ transplants, including seven heart transplants, four kidney transplants and four liver transplants. This was made possible by the living donors and families who made the selfless decision to donate life.

A Busy and Unique Transplant Program

Since 1964, when Lurie Children’s (then Children’s Memorial Hospital) performed the state’s first pediatric kidney transplant, the hospital has performed more than 830 kidney transplants. The liver transplantation program began in 1997 and has since performed more than 480. The hospital has Illinois’ only comprehensive heart transplantation program and has performed more than 440 heart transplants. Lurie Children’s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program has performed more than 1,500 stem cell transplants.

The hospital’s Siragusa Transplantation Center ranks among the top pediatric transplant centers in the country, not just in volume, but in outcomes. Each of our transplant programs has high rates of graft (transplant) success and patient survival one year after surgery. Making the program unique is Lurie Children’s collaboration with Northwestern Medicine.

Because of the proximity of the hospitals and the joint expertise, the hospitals’ living donor programs are strong. A living donor is someone who chooses to donate a kidney or a portion of their liver to a patient requiring a transplant.

Earlier this year, Dr. Juan Carlos Caicedo and Dr. Satish Nadig, pediatric and adult surgeons at Lurie Children’s and Northwestern Medicine, recorded an episode of Precision podcast, discussing this unique transplant program. Visit the Precision podcast, or searching for it anywhere podcasts are available.