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UA transplant programs on indefinite hiatus

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The University of Arizona Medical Center's heart and lung transplant programs are on hiatus as the surgeon who created the program becomes increasingly entangled in litigation with the hospital.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Dr. Rainer Gruessner filed a whistle-blower complaint with the UA earlier this month.

Gruessner says administrators retaliated against him for exposing problems with transplant record-keeping.

Gruessner was suspended with pay in September and barred from entering the hospital without notifying security. He filed a lawsuit against the hospital in November.

According to court documents, Gruessner was suspended for allegedly altering transplant records or telling others to alter them.

Gruessner is credited with hiring four of the six physicians who led the treatment of victims in the 2011 Tucson shooting that injured Gabrielle Giffords.

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