UR Medicine continues transplants during pandemic


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Professionals from the University of Rochester Medical Center spoke about the transplant surgery resuming during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many hospitals halted transplant and other non-urgent surgeries during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Monroe County could resume electie surgeries.

Over the past nine weeks, URMC teams have performed:

  • Liver: 17 transplants
  • Kidney: 7 transplants
  • Heart: 3 transplants

Chief of Solid Organ Transplant Surgery Dr. Roberto Hernandez Alejandro, Chief of Cardiac Surgery Dr. Sunil Prasad will speak about transplantation and safety alone with heart recipient Frank Rosinski, 69, from Greece and lier recipient, Thomas Steves, 61, from Syracuse.

“We were cautious with some organs, looking at the needs and the emergency situation and the urgency the patients needed,” Alejandro said. “If we look at these measures really the need of a liver transplant or kidney, it’s higher than the risk of COVID, we have been fortunate.”

Prasad said COVID or not, it’s important that patients who are sick — especially with heart issues — come to the hospital for treatment.

“We’re spreading the virus over time so we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system,” Prasad said. “A patients on the transplant list — kidney or heart — doesn’t have a certain amount of time before their organs start failing.

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“You’re at a point where you have to do the safest operation possible, take all the precaution for COVID, but still take care of the patients.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we update this developing story.

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