Dr. Emile Mohammed, Consultant nephrologist and head of the nephrology services, making a point with Margaret O’Shea, Consultant General and Kidney Transplant Surgeon at the press conference.

DOCTORS at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) have transplanted a kidney from a healthy 58-year-old man to his 28-year-old son. The “operation” was done on May 14, and was the first “living related kidney transplant” conducted at the QEH in ten years.

Yesterday, at a Press conference at the QEH board room, Dr Emile Mohammed, consultant nephrologist and head of the nephrology services, said the son was a kidney failure patient and on dialysis for over eight years.

He said the operation had gone extremely well and both the son and the father were already home.

“I think the operation going well is a testament to the very meticulous preparation of both the father and the son, the surgical expertise and the meticulous and detailed care they received after the operation,” he said.

He noted that what was very reassuring was that the expertise involved in doing the transplant, was largely employees of the QEH.

“In other words the medical, the surgical, the nursing staff were all local.”

Mohammed said there was some assistance from the international community in the form of a United Kingdom transplant coordinator, to help do some of the nursing training and some of the “tissue typing” and “special blood tests” were done in the national lab in London.

“But apart from that it was a QEH effort and it was done with the utmost expertise,” he added.

The surgery comprised two operations, one to take the kidney from father and the next to place it in the son, but what was most important was the “ischaemic time” (how long the kidney was out from the father before being placed in the son).

“Our ischaemic time was one hour and four minutes which is extremely good by any international standards, in fact this whole transplant has taken place complying with the gold standards and we used our European best practice guidelines,” he added

Mohammed said there were no surgeries planned for later in the year, but the QEH would be continuing to work to develop the service and the resources. He said however there were also other patients at various stages of transplant work-up.

Head of the surgical department John Gill, said the recent transplant, set the stage for more people to get transplanted kidneys and reduce the cost of treatment in this area. He said 73 of the 220 people who now undergo dialysis, could benefit from transplants and in two years there could be more developments. Gill said a cadaveric donation programme would be needed, so that those people examined by at least two physicians and deemed to be brain dead, would be potential donors.

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