A recent listing* of Philadelphia adult kidney transplant programs by The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) has listed the transplant program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital as having the shortest wait times for patients seeking a transplant among programs that have a three-year survival rate of greater than 90 percent. The median wait time for adult patients seeking a kidney transplant at Jefferson was 37 months. Other city hospitals that had comparable patient survival rates following transplant had median wait times of between 62 and 72 months.
The report covered kidney transplant cases from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009. During these two years, there were 430 patients on the Jefferson waiting list. Half of the patients listed at Jefferson had received a transplant as of 37 months after being placed on the waiting list, which was shorter than almost all adult programs. Pediatric programs had shorter wait times which is not surprising and is consistent with kidney allocation rules. The single adult program in the region with a shorter waiting time had a significantly worse patient survival post transplant. Waiting times for transplantation differ from facility to facility and also from person to person, depending upon many factors, such as individual medical condition, genetic characteristics and sensitivity of the candidate.
“Patients seeking a kidney transplant at Jefferson have an average wait time of slightly over three years, so waiting is a significant part of their care and is unfortunately a time period when vascular disease progresses.” said Adam Frank, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.
“Compare that number to the wait times at other area hospitals and there is a dramatic difference. Patients at other hospitals may be waiting as long as six years for a new kidney.”
Highly experienced physicians, nurses, counselors and surgeons in the Division of Transplantation, which is part of the Department of Surgery, work with patients and their families to determine if they are candidates for transplantation, and follow them through post-op care to ensure the transplanted organ is functioning properly. As a leading academic institution, Jefferson’s focus goes beyond patient care and includes active research protocols to advance the clinical experience. The division is led by Cataldo Doria, M.D., Ph.D., Nicoletti Family Professor of Transplant Surgery. In addition to Drs. Doria and Frank, the surgical team also consists of Warren Maley, M.D, associate professor of Surgery; and Carlo Ramirez, M.D., associate professor of Surgery.
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients is a national database of transplantation statistics. Founded in 1987, the registry exists to support the ongoing evaluation of the scientific and clinical status of solid organ transplantation, including kidney, heart, liver, lung, intestine, and pancreas. Data in the registry are collected by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) from hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the country. The SRTR contains current and past information about the full continuum of transplant activity, from organ donation and waiting list candidates to transplant recipients and survival statistics. This information is used to help develop evidence-based policy, to support analysis of transplant programs and OPOs, and to encourage research on issues of importance to the transplant community.
Annual Report of the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients: Transplant Data January 2008 – December 2009. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation, Rockville, MD; United Network for Organ Sharing, Richmond, VA; Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, Ann Arbor, MI.
The data and analyses reported in the Annual Report of the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients have been supplied by UNOS and Arbor Research under contract with HHS. The authors alone are responsible for reporting and interpreting these data.
* Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Center and OPO-specific Reports, July 2009. http://www.ustransplant.org/csr/current/.
Source: Thomas Jefferson University