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ACCISS helping to educate Indigenous organ transplant candidates

5 August 2021

Innovation with 3D-printing is working beyond the surgical space, creating replica kidney models for educating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about kidney transplant.

The Australian Centre for Complex Integrated Surgical Solutions (ACCISS) has their Indigenous intern, Jeremy Keevers preparing coloured replica models to be used in PA Hospital’s Outreach Renal Transplant Workshops which service remote areas of Queensland.

In conjunction with the National Indigenous Kidney Transplant Taskforce, the models are assisting the travelling team to educate potential transplant recipients and increase awareness of kidney disease.

PA Hospital Outreach Renal Transplant Workshop Coordinator for First Nations People of Queensland, Clinical Nurse Consultant Gary Torrens, knew that lack of education was a major roadblock in increasing transplant numbers for this group of patients.

“I approached ACCISS for a kidney model that I could take to yarning sessions as a great way to explain surgery, kidney location and transplant location in a tangible way,” he said. “These communities don’t respond to virtual meetings - they prefer face to face where they can meet you and get a feel for who you are,” he said.

“The community was really happy with this approach and it worked! Having the kidney model there was a really integral part of that. It kept it simple and was something tactile that they can touch to improve understanding.”

The models have travelled to communities in Townsville and Mount Isa, resulting in one successful transplant as well as six new Indigenous patients actively awaiting a match.

ACCISS has printed a further six replica kidney models commissioned by the National Indigenous Kidney Transplant Taskforce to educate further patients across Australia and ACCISS Director Dr Michael Wagels says this is just one small innovation that is helping to Close the Gap in healthcare outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

“We’re so proud of Jeremy and thankful for his dedication to this project.

“The tools are a meaningful way that ACCISS can use our capabilities to help more people from our communities every day,” said Dr Wagels.

Last updated 5 August 2021
Last reviewed 5 August 2021

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