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University of Iowa News Release

July 31, 2003

UI Hospitals And Clinics Reaches Transplant Milestone

A 49-year-old man from Alexis, Ill., became the 2,500th person to receive a kidney transplant at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics during a two-hour surgery on Wednesday, July 30.

Richard Pratt became the milestone patient only one week after being listed on the transplant waiting list. Most patients in need of a kidney from a deceased donor wait two to three years or even longer for a matched organ to become available. Transplant specialists say a kidney that is a perfect tissue match for Pratt became available, which moved him to the top of the list according to organ allocation policies set forth by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Pratt began receiving dialysis treatments in April 1995.

Michael Flanigan, M.D., an associate professor in the UI department of internal medicine and a specialist in treating kidney disease, serves as Pratt's physician. You Min Wu, M.D., an associate professor in the UI department of surgery and chairman of the Transplant Surgery Service, is Pratt's transplant surgeon. Pratt's health care team includes dialysis physicians, nurses, social workers, nutritionists and others who care for patients while they wait for their transplant. This well-established team provides comprehensive services to patients with end stage organ failure and relies on referring physicians from throughout the state and region to assist in their care.

UI Hospitals and Clinics completed the state's first kidney transplant in 1969. The medical center also performed Iowa's first pancreas transplant in 1979, followed in 1985 by the state's first heart transplant and first liver transplant. Iowa's only academic medical center has provided a total of 464 liver transplants, 287 pancreas transplants, and 196 heart transplants.

The transplant team at UI Hospitals and Clinics ranks among the most accomplished in the nation. Their success rate remains among the highest in the United States. One year following their kidney transplants at UI Hospitals and Clinics, 99 percent of patients are alive with 98 percent of the transplanted kidneys still functioning. The liver transplant success rate of more than 95 percent at UI Hospitals and Clinics at one year following the procedure is among the best in the nation.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,