Santillan Dies at Duke Hospital

Following a series of tests, doctors at Duke University Hospital determined that Jesica Santillan, 17, meets the criteria for the declaration of brain death. She was pronounced dead at 1:25 pm today (Feb. 22). “All of us at Duke University Hospital are deeply saddened by this,” said William Fulkerson, M.D., CEO of the hospital. “We want Jesica’s family and supporters to know that we share their loss and their grief. We very much regret these tragic circumstances.”

Duke Implements Additional Transplantation Safeguards

As a result of a blood type mismatch that occurred during the Feb. 7, 2003 heart-lung transplant for Jesica Santillan, Duke University Hospital has implemented additional safeguards that will improve the safety of the organ transplantation process.
“Every effort is being made to save Jesica’s life,” said William Fulkerson, M.D., CEO of Duke Hospital. “Our primary concern has always been for Jesica and her family. This was a tragic error, and we accept responsibility for our part. This is an especially sad situation since we intended this operation to save the life of a girl whose prognosis was grave. Jesica continues to remain at the top of the national organ donation list.

Eds: Jesica Santillan received a new heart transplant that was reportedly functioning unaided Thursday afternoon.