Adult Kidney Transplant Program
The need for kidney transplants increases annually
Kidney disease is a growing problem and people living with it experience a reduced quality of life and risk premature death. Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice because it prolongs survival, improves quality of life and is less costly than dialysis. The need for kidneys for transplantation through deceased and living kidney donation is constantly increasing.
In the last decade, the programs have averaged 45 transplants per year. For more statistics, please click here.
Manitoba is a leader in renal transplants
Manitoba is a leader in kidney transplantation. Since 1969, over 1,500 kidney transplants have been performed by the adult program and the pediatric program combined. Led by Dr. David Rush and Dr. Patricia Birk, both programs were the first to introduce surveillance biopsy programs that has led to their adoption in many countries worldwide, and established Winnipeg as a centre of excellence in translational research.
Working for Manitobans
The opportunity for organ and tissue donation is every family’s right and it is the responsibility of all members of the donation and healthcare team. 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 accessibility to renal transplantation and promote an increase in the number of transplants performed. With continued support from the WRHA, the Adult Kidney Transplant Program has targeted 60 transplants per year as its goal for the future.
To ensure access to as many options as possible for safe kidney transplantation, Manitoba participates in two national kidney sharing programs – the Highly Sensitized Patient Program and the Kidney Paired Donation Program. Both are managed by Canadian Blood Services.
At the close of 2015, Donation after Cardiocirculatory Death (DCD) was introduced in Manitoba. Organ donation after cardiac death makes it possible for organs to be donated after the heart stops beating. This means more families have the option of pursuing organ donation.
Journey to 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.