The University of Kansas Hospital performs record number of liver transplants in FY 2008
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Physicians at The University of Kansas Hospital performed a record number of liver transplants in the fiscal year 2008, which concluded on June 30. The total of 68 transplants is more than double the number performed at the hospital just four years ago and is now comparable to the volume of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and the University of Nebraska-Omaha programs.
According to Dr. Richard Gilroy, M.D., medical director of liver transplantation, there are three primary reasons for the extraordinary growth at The University of Kansas Hospital.
First is a matter of staffing. Dr. Jameson Forster, M.D., program director of transplantation and hepatic surgery, and Dr. Abdul Karrem, M.D., have been joined by three physicians from other nationally prominent programs: Dr. Ryan Taylor, M.D. from the University of Michigan and Gilroy from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Dr. Eric Schadde, M.D., a transplant surgeon from the University of Wisconsin.
“Secondly, the hospital backed up its commitment to the program with not only staff, but the construction of a transplant specific intensive care unit and a transplant step-down unit,” Gilroy said.
And finally, Gilroy emphasized the third reason. “The generosity of people of Kansas and the Kansas City area in the context of tragedy has resulted in higher donor rates. Critical to any program is the donation program and this region is very generous -- and giving saves lives.”
The net result, according to Gilroy, is a strong program close to home which allows more patients to receive transplants without long, costly trips.
“More people are finding this service in Kansas City and it is a major benefit to patients and families from the area. In addition to the surgical time there is six weeks of recovery, all of which was time families had to stay away from home in past. Now the families are finding the quality of our hospital and our doctors and benefiting from the convenience,” said Gilroy.
He added that while things are on a positive track, the key to the continued success will be organ donation.
“We as a community understand the mottos that ‘You can give and let live,’ and ‘Don’t take it with you as heaven knows we need them here,’” he said.
The University of Kansas Hospital is the region's premier academic medical center, providing a full range of care. The hospital is affiliated with the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, and their various leading edge research projects. The constantly growing facility contains 508 staffed beds and serves more than 21,000 inpatients annually.
(Contact: Dennis Minich, 913-588-5246)