Nearly 300 kidney, liver and heart transplants were performed at University of Cincinnati Medical Center in 2018, a 25 percent increase over the previous calendar year.
“We are proud to provide the region’s only comprehensive adult organ transplant program, and our team is committed to expanding access to this lifesaving care to those in our community who need it most,” said Shimul A. Shah, MD, section chief of solid organ transplantation, James and Catherine Orr Endowed Chair in Liver Transplantation, and professor of surgery at UC College of Medicine and a UC Health transplant surgeon.
It was also a record-setting year for the number of liver and kidney transplants performed at UC Medical Center, including a 40 percent increase in living kidney donor transplants.
“More people are saying ‘yes’ to providing the gift of life, which is wonderful news for our community and for our patients,” said Amit Govil, MD, medical director of the kidney transplant program, professor of nephrology at UC College of Medicine and a UC Health transplant nephrologist. “We will continue to focus upon making it easy for patients and families to make this choice, and we have achieved that by serving communities within the Greater Cincinnati area as well as several outreach locations within the broader region.”
UC Medical Center now ranks 16th in the nation among liver transplant centers and 40th in the nation among kidney transplant centers for the number of transplants performed, according to UNOS. The rankings are a measure of a program’s strength and success, along with other measures such as patient outcomes and academic research.
The rise in volume is due to concerted outreach program to referring physicians, operational improvements, and, most importantly, increased awareness of organ donation.
“Most of the transplant surgeries we perform represent not only a life saved, but also a life lost. We thank the families and individuals who have made the courageous decision to pass on the gift of life,” said Shah, who also serves on the medical board for LifeCenter Organ Donor Network in Cincinnati. “We also celebrate the selflessness of those who choose living donation, such as donating a kidney to a family member, friend or stranger in need.”
Organ donation and transplantation are also on the rise nationally: in 2018, more than 36,000 organ transplants were performed in the United States, setting an annual record for the sixth straight year, according to UNOS.
Nationally, living organ donation increased by 11 percent, according to UNOS, while the number of people who chose to donate one or more organs after death rose by four percent.