Heart transplants drop in Ohio since policy change

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The number of heart transplants performed in Ohio fell last year to its lowest level since 1989.

In the past seven years at the Cleveland Clinic, heart transplants dropped from 76 to 44. That's more than 40 percent.

The clinic performed about two-thirds of the state's heart transplants last year.

Ohio State University's transplant center performed 10 heart transplants last year. That's about half of its peak of 19 in 2006.

The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1fLAPJZ) that the decreases are the result of a 2006 policy change by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network that expanded regional organ sharing. The change was aimed at reducing deaths among people waiting for transplants. For Ohio, the policy change has made the state a net exporter of donor hearts.

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