8 heart-transplant candidates transferred to Seattle hospital

SEATTLE -- Eight heart-transplant candidates have been transferred to a Seattle hospital following the suspension of a heart-transplant program at an Oregon facility.

The University of Washington School of Medicine said in a statement Friday that the patients were taken to UW Medicine.

“Our primary commitment is to patients. A state line doesn’t mean we’re any less committed to people who live in Oregon than who live in Washington,” said Dr. Daniel Fishbein, medical director for heart transplantation and a professor of medicine (cardiology) at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We are the closest transplant program to Oregon and we feel a great commitment to patients with advanced heart disease in the entire region."

Oregon Health & Science University said earlier that it was working to transfer the 20 patients on its waiting list to other transplant centers, including those in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Portland, Oregon, hospital notified patients it was suspending its heart transplant program for 14 days because one doctor had left and two others had given notice.

Eighteen heart transplants were done at OHSU in 2016 and 30 more were completed there in 2017, according to federal data.