Was Cheney Too Old For Heart Transplant?
March 25, 2012 by staff
Was Cheney Too Old For Heart Transplant?, Former Vice President Dick Cheney had a heart transplant Saturday, after five heart attacks over the past 25 years and countless medical procedures to keep him going. Cheney, 71, waited nearly two years for his new heart, the gift of an unknown donor.
An aide to Cheney disclosed the surgery after it was over, and said the ex-vice president was recovering at a Virginia hospital.
“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,” aide Kara Ahern said in a written statement that was authenticated by several of the Republican politician’s close associates.
Cheney was recovering Saturday night at the intensive care unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., after surgery earlier in the day.
More than 3,100 Americans currently are on the national waiting list for a heart transplant. Just over 2,300 heart transplants were performed last year, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. And 330 people died while waiting.
According to UNOS, 332 people over age 65 received a heart transplant last year. The majority of transplants occur in 50- to 64-year-olds.
The odds of survival are good. More than 70 percent of heart transplant recipients live at least five years, although survival is a bit lower for people over age 65.
The former vice president suffered a heart attack in 2010, his fifth since the age of 37.
That same year, he had surgery to have a small pump installed to help his heart keep working.
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