TRANSPLANT MANITOBA-PEDIATRIC KIDNEY PROGRAM CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF TRANSPLANTS WITH A PATIENT AND FAMILY CONFERENCE
Pediatric kidney transplant patients and their families from the past and the future gathered today to share questions and words of wisdom at the Little Heroes Big Dreams Conference. Manitoba’s first pediatric kidney transplant took place in 1972 when a typical hospital stay post-transplant was two weeks or more. Today, most patients go home after one week. Since then, 146 pediatric kidney transplants have been performed at Winnipeg’s Children’s Hospital.
Improvements in post-transplant care have meant kidneys transplanted into pediatric patients now last longer than they did in the 1970s. “Every time a child comes off the waitlist for a kidney because it is transplant day, it’s a reason to celebrate, but certainly there is also much progress to applaud from the last four decades,” said Dr. Patricia Birk, medical director, Transplant Manitoba-Pediatric Kidney Program.
The one-day conference featured speakers, Olympic-style games, a kidney-friendly lunch and a panel of experts taking questions from the participants ranging from which immunizations are safe for a child with a transplanted kidney to what side effects can be expected from post-transplant medications.