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10 years of life-changing transplants marked by Temple Street

The hospital is marking 10 years of performing kidney transplants, and said that last year was the busiest year ever for the transplants.

Julia Cummins, who had a kidney transplant, kisses her baby Laoise Nic Con Iomaire, in March
Julia Cummins, who had a kidney transplant, kisses her baby Laoise Nic Con Iomaire, in March
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A SPECIAL EVENT will take place in Croke Park today attended by 250 children and their families to mark 10 years of kidney transplantation at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.

Of those present, 80 of the children have received a transplant at Temple Street since 2003. Twenty two of them received one from a living donor (such as a parent or close relative) and 58 from a deceased donor (when the kidney is retrieved from someone who has died but who carried a donor card.)

Over the 10 years, the youngest recipient of a new kidney was two years of age and the oldest was 17 years.

Donor card

Speaking about developments at the National Paediatric Renal Transplant and Haemodialysis Unit at Temple Street, Dr Atif Awan, Consultant Nephrologist said:

Our strong multi-disciplinary team continues to work to get as many children whose kidneys have failed, or who were born without normal kidney function, off dialysis as quickly as possible. We currently have 20 children waiting for a new kidney. We work in close partnership with the National Renal Transplant Team based in Beaumont and are very grateful for all their efforts on our behalf.

Since their service started in 2003, they have seen a 35 per cent increase in the number of live related donors.

Awan said that by increasing rates of live related donation they can reduce the amount of time children are on dialysis. They can also schedule their surgery to ensure they are in optimum condition for their transplant operation, as well as avoiding a potential wait for a suitable deceased donor kidney to become available.

“Kidney transplantation is a much more cost effective solution for the State. Five years of dialysis can cost up to €400,000 per child – a kidney transplant has a once off cost of €30,000 for the 1st year and about 10,000 per year thereafter,” continued Dr Awan.

Sheila Boyle, Senior Nephrology Nurse at Temple Street said that 2012 saw them conduct 16 transplants, which made it their busiest year ever.

This number is increasing because of more live donor transplants and more people carrying donor cards.

There are currently 20 children on the waiting list for a new kidney, so Temple Street and the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) are renewing their appeal for people to carry a donor card.

You can get a card by contacting the IKA on email; donor@ika.ie, on Freetext; DONOR 50050 or on LoCall; 1890 543 639 or dropping into your local pharmacy to pick up one. Once the card arrives it is important that the donor signs it and let their families know of their decision.

Read: Irish girl accepted for kidney exchange programme>

Read: Heart transplant gives mother a new life>

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