Heart-Transplant Program Opens Access to Hep C-Positive Donors

UW Medicine’s heart-transplant team this month began giving all of its patients access to suitable donor hearts from decedents who tested positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Previously, these organs were available only to patients who already had the virus.

The team is taking this step because early results from a few U.S. transplant centers show that an eight- to 12-week course of medication can eradicate HCV from transplant patients postoperatively without imperiling the donor organ’s viability or the patient’s health.