Talking transplant to kidney patients across Ontario

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A team of 20 members from Ontario transplant hospitals and dialysis centres at the general Explore Transplant Ontario meeting, fall 2015

Many people know what diabetes and high blood pressure are.  However, less know that patients who have diabetes or high blood pressure can also lose the functioning of their kidneys, a disease called End-Stage Kidney Disease.  When a person’s kidney is functioning at less than 10%, patients must start dialysis, or be tested for a kidney transplant. During dialysis treatment, a machine filters their blood of waste and unwanted water from the blood. For those who are able to get a kidney transplant, research has shown that patients live longer than patients who remain on dialysis.

In Ontario, there are more than 17,000 patients with End-Stage Kidney Disease. (Statistics from Canadian Organ Replacement Register Annual Report Treatment of End Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 2004 -2013.) Many of these patients have not learned what a transplant requires and whether they would be interested in a deceased or living donor transplant.  They have lots of questions about the surgery and recovery and how their life would change with a transplant.  People who might want to donate a kidney also have to learn about the risks and benefits of living donation.

A first for UHN and kidney organizations across Ontario

Dr. Istvan Mucsi, a nephrologist in the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at the University Health Network (UHN) and Dr. Amy Waterman, Associate Professor at University of California- Los Angeles’ Division of Nephrology have teamed up with 20 members from Ontario, dialysis centre’s and hospitals to adapt a transplant education program called, Explore Transplant Ontario.  Explore Transplant Ontario will provide video and print education about kidney transplant and living donation for kidney transplant patients, their caregivers, potential living donors, and the public.

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Order of Canada investiture ceremony honours UHN Surgeon-in-Chief

Dr. Shaf Keshavjee and his Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at the Order of Canada investiture ceremony on Sept. 23.

Congratulations to Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, Surgeon-in-Chief, Sprott Department of Surgery and director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program at UHN, for being made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Keshavjee was presented with the honour on Sept. 23.

The Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Dr. Keshavjee is a pioneer in developing the Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion System. The system allows donor lungs to be kept alive outside of the body in order to be assessed, treated and repaired before being transplanted into a patient.