Adult Kidney Transplant Program
The need for kidney transplants increases annually
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a growing problem worldwide. Between the late 1980s and 1990, the rate of ESRD grew at a compound rate of over 7% per year. The development of ESRD is associated with a reduction in health-related quality of life and a risk of premature death. Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for ESRD as it prolongs survival, improves quality of life and is less costly than dialysis. There is a need therefore for increased resource allocation to renal transplantation.
Manitoba is a leader in renal transplants
Kidney transplantation has been performed in Manitoba since 1969. To date, 1125 such transplants have been done, and there are currently almost 500 adult patients with a kidney transplant followed as outpatients in the Program. Yearly kidney transplant rates in Manitoba have varied considerably. In the last decade the lowest yearly transplant rate occurred in 1998, with 26 kidney transplants performed, and a high of 49 transplants occurred in 1995. In 2004 and 2005 only 28 and 30 kidney transplants were performed, respectively. Therefore, in 2005, the Adult Kidney Transplant Program proposed the creation of an Organ Donor Organization (ODO) and requested support from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) for additional resources in an effort to improve on accessibility to renal transplantation and promote an increase in the number of transplants performed. The support of this request by the WRHA has resulted in an increase in renal transplants performed in Manitoba in 2006 to 48 renal transplants, the second highest number of transplants performed in a year in the entire history of the Program.
With continued support from the WRHA, the Adult Kidney Transplant Program has targeted 60 transplants per year as its goal for the future.
Patients deemed to be potential renal transplant candidates by their Nephrologist are referred to a Transplant Physician. The Transplant Physician will discuss with the potential transplant candidate the benefits and risks of transplantation. Written material is provided to the patient who will decide at some later time whether he or she wants to be evaluated further. If the patients wishes to pursue the option of transplantation, and further evaluation is satisfactory, the patient becomes ready for either a living donor or deceased donor kidney transplant.
Once a patient has been discharged from hospital following a renal transplant, he or she is followed as an outpatient in the Post Transplant Clinic. The purpose of these visits is to ensure that the patient is well, to monitor the function of the transplanted kidney, and to ensure that medications are appropriate. The frequency of visits to the Transplant Clinic varies from daily in the first month, to every two months after the first year, and remains at this latter frequency for as long as the patient keeps the transplanted kidney.