News Stories

Will Chapman Addresses Blood and Organ Donation

William Chapman, MD, speaks to KSDK and National Geographic regarding the importance of transplant surgery, blood donation and health practices.

Critical heart, liver, kidney and lung transplant surgeries are among the lifesaving procedures being performed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Surgeons at the Transplant Center, which recently celebrated its 10,000th solid organ transplant, are leaders in transplantation and educators of the next generation of specialists.

William Chapman, MD, Section Chief of Transplant Surgery and Division Chief of General Surgery, discussed the importance of transplant surgery and blood donation with KSDK and National Geographic.

Saving Lives with Blood Donation

The American Red Cross emphasizes that donating blood is essential to community health. The need for blood donations is a constant, as that blood is used for treating patients in a variety of settings, including cancer, traumatic injuries, sickle cell and burn patients. Blood transfusions are also an important part of the lifesaving transplant procedures performed at the transplant center.

National Geographic recognizes Chapman as a leader in transplantation, and consulted him on the recent decrease in blood and organ donations. While organ transplants are vital, Chapman acknowledges that some patients may be wise to postpone surgery if it would compromise their immune system.

“We want to encourage everyone who can to donate blood,” Chapman emphasizes in a recent interview with KSDK. While fewer surgeries are being performed today in general, the need for blood has not changed. Those transplants and other procedures that cannot wait still rely on blood donations, and the American Red Cross is making it easier to give by offering an appointment-based system for donation.

A Leader in the Region Receives International Recognition

“We are the leading transplant center in the Midwest,” says Chapman, “and also the highest volume transplant center in the region.”

The Center’s high volume resulted in a historic number of lung transplants in 2019.

In addition to local and national press, the Section of Abdominal Transplant Surgery has recently received international recognition: Shaf Keshavjee, MD, MS, Surgeon-in-Chief of the Sprott Department of Surgery at University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, recently presented the 2020 Anderson-Newton Lectureat the School of Medicine titled “Re-defining the Future in Transplantation.” A team of medical professionals from the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases in Mexico City, Mexico, visited the medical school for a week of training in lung transplantation earlier this year.

Will Chapman (right) with Daniel Kreisel, MD, PhD, and Shaf Keshavjee, MD, MS.

“Blood supply is something we need for all of our patients,” Chapman says. “We will get through this together. We are working to keep our patients safe. Seeing a patient completely restored to health after surgery is the most rewarding aspect of surgery, and that relies on healthy people donating blood.”