Cheney Gets Heart Transplant at Fairfax Hospital

March 25, 2012 2:28 pmBy: 

Dick CheneyMcLean’s Dick Cheney is recovering in intensive care after a heart transplant at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.

“Although the former vice president and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” said Cristina Allegretti, a Cheney spokeswoman. “Former Vice President Cheney is thankful to the teams of doctors and other medical professionals at Inova Fairfax and George Washington University Hospital for their continued outstanding care.”

The former vice president, 71, has a long history of heart problems and was put on the transplant list after he was fitted with a battery-powered heart-assist device.  He has suffered five heart attacks, the first at age 37. Cheney has appeared increasingly frail in his public appearances.

Once rare

While heart transplants were once rare in older patients, 332 people aged 65 and over received new hearts last year, more than 13 times the number in 1988, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, headquartered in Richmond.

The organ network said there were 316 people waiting for a heart in Virginia and Washington D.C., as of March 16. Cheney had been on the list for 20 months, Allegretti said.

Organs are given to patients who are most in need of them, as determined by a complex formula developed by the organ network. A patient like Cheney, whose condition had deteriorated steadily in recent years, would have moved up the list as his condition worsened, according to people familiar with the operation of the transplant system.

Inova Fairfax performed the region’s first successful heart transplant in 1986 and is generally considered the leading organ transplant center in the Washington area.

Why a transplant?

End-stage heart failure is the most common condition for which heart transplant is considered an option, Inova Fairfax said on its Web site. Patients referred for heart transplant may have heart failure as a result of coronary heart disease, a hereditary condition, damaged tissue or an infection.

Generally, a patient considered for a heart transplant has already tried other treatments and may have been hospitalized more than once for heart failure. Heart failure is considered “end stage” when other treatments (such as medicine, implanted devices or surgery) have failed to relieve symptoms, the statement said.

Hybrid OR


Inova’s Heart and Vascular Institute has designed what it calls a “hybrid operating room” for cardiac transplants. It allows cardiac surgeons, electrophysiologists and cardiologists to operate together on the same patient. The hybrid OR reduces surgical time and allows patients to recover faster, with less risk of complications.

“Hospitals today require operating rooms that are flexible and easily adaptable. Our cutting-edge hybrid OR represents the first of its kind,” says Patricia A. Knowles, BSN, RN, MS, CNOR, Administrator, Inova Heart and Vascular Institute.

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Education Langley Oakton Top Stories Langley, Oakton students featured in “Sleepless in America”

    Langley, Oakton students featured in “Sleepless in America”

    Students from Langley High School and Oakton High School, Superintendent Karen K. Garza, and Fairfax County School Board member Sandy Evans will be featured in “Sleepless in America,” a television show on sleep deprivation produced by the National Geographic Channel, premiering Sunday, November 30, at 8 p.m. The show focuses on the sleep-loss epidemic in the U.S. and explores the health consequences of sleeping too little.  Sleep researchers from the University of Chicago and Oregon Health and Science University are […]

    Read more →
  • Military Top Stories Warner, Kane back toughening Military Lending Act

    Warner, Kane back toughening Military Lending Act

    U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with 40 of their Senate colleagues, today sent a letter in support of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) plan to update the Military Lending Act (MLA) and close existing loopholes to better protect servicemembers and their families from abusive financial practices.  The letter, sent to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, expresses strong support for the proposed new rule to help prevent lenders from charging excessive fees and taking advantage of military […]

    Read more →
  • Top Stories Transportation Wintry mix in store Wednesday as Thanksgiving trips commence

    Wintry mix in store Wednesday as Thanksgiving trips commence

    It couldn’t come at a worse time. The dread Mid-Atlantic wintry mix is closing in on Fairfax and the D.C. area just in time for Wednesday, traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year, as families and friends reunite for the Thanksgiving holiday. Virginia Department of Transportation crews are preparing for a mix of rain and snow expected across northern Virginia Wednesday. About 400 trucks will be staged throughout Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties early Wednesday morning […]

    Read more →
  • Military Top Stories NORAD exercises over the Washington area Monday night

    NORAD exercises over the Washington area Monday night

    Russia has been flexing its muscles lately, sending long-range bombers around the globe, from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. While no one is saying there’s any connection, the North American Aerospace Defense Command says it will be conducting exercises over the Washington area between midnight tonight (Monday) and 2 a.m. Tuesday. The exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled, NORAD said in a press advisory, adding that NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. […]

    Read more →
  • Consumers Top Stories WaPo to Washington: Drop dead

    WaPo to Washington: Drop dead

    Ever since billionaire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, there’s been the expectation that he would come up with a mind-bending digital solution to the enigma the Internet presents to newspapers and other print publications. “Maybe he’ll give every subscriber a Kindle,” one journalist speculated at a local watering hole shortly after Bezos bought the paper in the summer of 2013. It turns out to be just the opposite: Subscribers have to have their own Kindle Fire (the […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Top Stories Vienna Transit police release sketch of carjacking “person of interest”

    Transit police release sketch of carjacking “person of interest”

      Metro Transit Police today released a composite sketch of a person of interest wanted for questioning in acarjacking/kidnapping that occurred on November 12 shortly before 10:30 p.m. at the Vienna Metrorail Station parking lot. The victim reported that a suspect approached her vehicle as she was exiting the Vienna Metrorail Station, displayed a handgun, entered the vehicle and forced her to drive to several establishments in Prince George’s County to withdraw cash and make purchases. The suspect released the victim at the […]

    Read more →
  • Arlington County Government Top Stories Transportation Arlington scraps street cars, Bulova “saddened and disappointed”

    Arlington scraps street cars, Bulova “saddened and disappointed”

    Bowing to growing community opposition, the Arlington County Board of Supervisors is driving a stake through the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar projects, also effectively killing an ambitious program to encourage high-density development in both areas. The action follows the victory of streetcar opponent John Vihstadt to the Arlington board in the recent election. Vihstadt, who has labeled the streetcar project as “financial and operational albatross,” won a special election to the board in April, replacing transit advocate Chris Zimmerman. The […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Top Stories Vienna Transit police investigate carjacking at Vienna Metro

    Transit police investigate carjacking at Vienna Metro

    Metro Transit Police are seeking the public’s assistance to identify a person of interest in a carjacking/kidnapping investigation. At approximately 12:40 a.m. Thursday, Metro Transit Police were notified of a carjacking/kidnapping incident. The victim reported that a suspect approached her vehicle as she was exiting the Vienna Metrorail Station, displayed a handgun, entered the vehicle and forced her to drive to several ATMs to withdraw cash.  The suspect released the victim at the New Carrollton Metrorail Station in Maryland and […]

    Read more →