Baptist Transplant Program Information for Physicians

The Baptist Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program serves patients from a large regional area that includes Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. We work to provide individualized patient care and use all hospital resources available. If you have a patient who needs to be evaluated for transplant or a mechanical circulatory support device, our program is committed to working together with you to meet the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of each patient.

Physicians may make a referral to the Baptist Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Clinic or Advanced Heart Failure Clinic in one of three ways:

Please see our Referral Checklist to be sure all necessary patient information is included when making a referral.


Considerations when Referring a Patient for Transplant

Advanced Heart Failure Referral Guidelines “I Need Help” Markers
I Inotropes Previous or on-going requirement for dobutamine, milrinone, dopamine, or levosimendan
N NYHA class / Natriuretic peptides Persisting NYHA Class III or IV and/or persistently high BNP or NT-pro-BNP
E End-Organ Dysfunction Worsening renal or liver dysfunction in the setting of heart failure
E Ejection Fraction Very low ejection fraction < 20%
D Defibrillator Shocks Recurrent appropriate defibrillator shocks
H Hospitalizations  
E Edema / Escalating Diuretics Persisting fluid overload and/or increasing diuretic requirements
L Low Blood Pressure Consistently low BP with systolic < 90 to 100 mm Hg
P Prognostic Medication Inability to up-titrate (or need to decrease/cease) ACEI, ARBs, ARNIs, B-Blockers or MRAs

Outcome Measures

Baptist is diligent in measuring, evaluating and reporting clinical outcomes to identify and initiate improvements in all aspects of patient care. This process has enabled the program to decrease length of stay and improve patient survival rates. Our transplant program outcomes are publicly reported and can be found on the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients website at


Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis supports research through a dedicated department involved in a variety of studies. Patients can participate in studies as indicated.

Transplant Program Goal

Our goal is a simple one – to ensure success of the transplant and improve the quality and longevity of life for the patient.

Transplant Program Referral

A patient referral can be made by calling our direct referral line at 901-226-3712. The Transplant/VAD Referral Information Form and patient records related to the appropriate referral checklist may also be faxed to 901-226-2010 or emailed to [email protected].

Heart Transplant/VAD Referral Checklist

  • Patient's name, address and phone number
  • Patient's height and weight
  • Patient's date of birth and social security number
  • Patient's recent history and physical and/or discharge summary
  • Patient's most recent cardiac test results, such as heart catheterizations, echocardiograms, and EKGs, CPX
  • Patient's insurance information
  • Referring physician's name, address, phone and fax numbers

About Our Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program

The Baptist Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program offers leading-edge devices that can be used as rescue therapy for patients with advanced heart failure. Device therapy, such as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, CentriMag, intra-aortic balloon pump, and Impella, can provide patients a bridge to recovery, serve as long-term device therapy, or be used until transplantation.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) – This device supports patients who are in severe heart or lung failure and are unresponsive to optimal conventional care. While a patient's circulation and/or respiration are being supported by ECMO, the failing organs are being treated, recovered or replaced.

CentriMag™ (CMAG) – For temporary ventricular support, a CMAG is used for patients who fail to come off cardiopulmonary bypass or as a bridge to allow medical staff to decide on the best options for long-term support. It can provide more than nine liters of blood flow to the heart and can be used for 30 days or more.

Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) – Using a balloon placed in the aorta through the axillary or femoral artery, this device decreases oxygen demand on the heart and increases oxygen supply. It is a short-term mechanical device that is typically inserted through the groin and helps the heart pump blood to the body more efficiently and supply blood to the blood vessels in the heart.

Impella® – An Impella is used for temporary ventricular support in patients with depressed heart function. Typically inserted through the groin, this short-term mechanical device provides more support than an IABP. This device can also stay in place longer than an IABP, if needed. It is mostly used in high-risk heart catheterizations to provide support when placing stents in critical vessels.

Tandem heart® – This device is used for temporary support to decrease the size of the left or right ventricle, thereby reducing the workload of the heart. It can provide up to five liters of blood flow to the heart.

Long-term ventricular assist devices (LVAa) – For left-sided, end-stage heart failure, a doctor may recommend an implantable LVAD to help the heart. An LVAD is a small, mechanical pump implanted inside the chest or abdomen that takes over the job of the weak left ventricle. Blood flows from the left ventricle through an inflow tube to the pump, then the pump pushes the blood through an outflow tube into the aorta.

A cable called a “driveline” connects the LVAD pump inside the chest to a control unit located on the outside of the body. The control unit is a small computer that controls the functions of the pump and alerts the patients if there are any problems. The pump and control unit receive power through a cord that is connected to batteries held in a lightweight patient pack.

An LVAD can be a temporary treatment until a heart transplant becomes available, or used as long-term therapy if transplant is not an option. Our program has implanted more than 360 VADs since 1996 and holds The Joint Commission Disease Specific Certification for Destination Therapy VAD.

Heart and Vascular Care Locations

Multiple Baptist Memorial hospitals offer a wide range of heart services. Learn more about the heart care our hospitals offer.