Dallas – Medical City Heart Hospital is the first in Texas to transplant a heart through a new technique known as donation after cardiac death (DCD). The new procedure has the potential to increase the donor pool as much as 30 percent, according to the American College of Cardiology.

“We are grateful for the courage of the donor family and for the skill of this world-class heart transplant team, saving more lives in more ways,” says Andrea Daniels, COO of Medical City Heart Hospital. “Advancing healthcare through leading edge innovations such as DCD is why Medical City Heart Hospital is the destination of choice for cardiac care in North Texas.”

Heart donations have traditionally depended on declaration of brain death. DCD donors have suffered devastating and irreversible brain injury, requiring withdrawal of life-support.  

The DCD heart transplantation milestone occurred Thursday. The recipient, 50-year-old Yolanda Triplett, was first put on the heart transplant list in 2014 after strong treatments for breast cancer damaged her heart. Just one day after transplant, she was out of bed, walking and feeling the strongest heartbeat she has felt in years.

“When I found out that I was getting a new heart, I was excited and nervous at the same time because I had waited so long for this,” says Yolanda Triplett. “I thought it would never come and when it did, it hit me all of the sudden and I am so grateful for this wonderful gift.”

The transplant team at Medical City Heart Hospital and Medical City Dallas has performed more than 600 heart transplants since the program began in 1991, consistently ranking among the top-performing transplant centers across the country, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

“Many patients become too sick and die waiting for a heart,” says Brian Lima, MD, surgical director of heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at Medical City Heart Hospital. “The DCD heart transplant procedure could dramatically expand the donor pool in North Texas and give our team the opportunity to care for and improve more human lives.”

Learn more about heart transplant services at Medical City Heart Hospital.