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Heart Transplant Plans Proceeding

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University Hospital doctors are prepared to proceed with a heart transplant operátion for a 49-year-old Kalamazoo man when a donor becomes available. Officials said today the operation - which would be the first of its type in the state - could be undertaken at any given moment a donor is found. Yesterday, it was a matter of conjecture whether such an operation could be performed on Philip T. Barnum who is suffering with cardio myopathy- degeneration of the heart muscle. i Earnum had been a patiënt at Ithe U-M Hospitai's Clinical Research Unit which was closed) down because of a lack of funds.! University officials said! Itoday the operation will proceed, when a donor is available, under the assumption that funds to cover costs of the operation will be made available from some source. Dr. Roger B. Nelson, senior association director of University Hospital, announced today the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) will reopen Tuesday. Ho we ver, the unit will be ortly I for patients who require [Í talization and who have health insurance to cover costs. An exception will be made in Barnum's case. William Bender, public infor-1 mation officer at. University; Hospital, said at the moment; the Barnum family is still responsible for finances, "Enough people are trying to: find ways of solving the (financia!) problem that we are gambling a solution will be found," Bender said. "We realize the family couldn't afford to pay for the care he needs." The Clinical Research Center operations are financed by a grant f rom the National Institutes of Health. Funds are now exhausted and more money is not scheduled until Oct. 1 ÜS. séñTTnílip Hart is attempting to have funds made available to University Hospital to cover the cost of the pro-, posed heart transplant. Sidney Woolmer, an aide in Hart's office, said this morning the senator appealed to the Veteran's Administration and,was informed that agency would pay the cost of the operation if the patiënt was transí-! erred to one of its research facilities in either Denver, Coló., or Palo Alto, Calif. There is a question, however, whether Barnum's condition would permit such a transfer. But with University doctors prepared to go ahead with the transplant, the move apparently is not necessary : Bender said numerous perrons have called Uriiversity 'Hospital o f f e r i n g donations toward costs of the operationi He said those wishing to make contributions may send checks to the University of Michigan Hospital Memorial Fund in the name of P. T. Barnum. Dr. Arthur French, director of the CRU, said 10 beds would be made available Tuesday with the remaining 10 beds to be put to use Sep't. 9. "Yes, the operation will bej performed," Dr. French said i regarding Barnum. If performed prior to Tuesday, he said, the Clinical Research Unit would be opened on a more rapid basis. Barnum is now in the hogj pital's coronary unit. D r . French said he is receiving the same care there as he would in the Clinical Research Unit. The difference, he said, is psychological. Dr. French said that as long as Barnum was in the special unit he believed he had an opportunity for a heart transplant. "Symbolically, up there (in the coronary unit) he feels1 a transplant is not available." He added that "emotional factors make quite a bit of difference" in these cases. Dr. Nelson said he received a verbal agreement from the National Institutes of Health late yesterday to permit the temporary use of the 20 bed CRU facility "for those patients who require hospitalization and have adequate health insurance to cover treatment and care." He said Barnum will return to the CRU facility "as soon' as his doctors will permit. If a heart donor can be found the hospital will proceed with plans for the transplant." Prior to its closing, the CRU; facility was not necessarily for! patients requirmg tion but accepted those who might possibly have been treated as out - patients. Patients were accepted only when their particular illnesses fit one or another of a large number of research projects being carned out by U-M physicians. Barnum was moved to the CRU Aug. 8 from Veterans ; pital here. If funds had not been exhausted, his expenses would have been paid by National Institutes of Health. Woolmer said research centers operating under National Institutes of Health grants often negotiate at year's end to cover any déficits incurred. He also noted that the House of Representatives had voted to cut $4 million from the National Institutes of Health budget but that the Senate committee has recommended restoring thal amount. He said Hart would fight to have the Senate approve the restoration of the $4 milhon.