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Photo credit: Mark Cranitch
Queensland’s centre for liver and kidney transplant, Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) has experienced a spike in transplants in the lead up to winter with 31 transplant operations in just under a month.
The 22 kidney transplants and nine liver transplants, including two live-related kidney donations, have seen a wave of grateful patients receiving their new organ and a new lease on life since the start of the spike in late May.
Acting Chair of Surgery, Professor Jonathan Fawcett said PAH’s theatres have been kept busy with surgical teams working around the clock as PAH handled one of its busiest months of emergency surgery – including liver and kidney transplant.
“As the designated specialist centre for liver and kidney transplant, we are constantly on standby to accommodate these surgeries for patients on our transplant waiting list and while we are managing those patients and their deteriorating health, it is not something we can plan ahead for in most cases,” Prof Fawcett said.
Transplants are particularly labour-intensive operations taking about three hours per kidney transplant with six staff in the theatre and four hours per liver transplant with 10-12 staff taking part in this operation. A complex liver transplant could take up to 12 hours.
“The great thing about PAH is that we are built for this fluctuation in demand, handling a burgeoning emergency surgery list every day which a tribute to PAH’s capacity for surgery and the agility of our surgical teams to deal with varying spikes in workload.”
PAH is currently running more theatres than usual, flexing up by two theatres to our full capacity of 23 theatres. This represents an increase from four to six theatres dedicated to emergency surgeries which includes transplants.