A Successful Start for Driscoll Children's Hospital's Kidney Transplant Program

Each year, Driscoll Children's Hospital's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center welcomes 3,200 visits from South Texas' youngest patients.

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Each year, Driscoll Children's Hospital's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center welcomes 3,200 visits from South Texas' youngest patients – many of whom are critically ill children suffering from end-stage renal disease. In 2005, DCH added kidney transplantation to its long list of services, performing 55 transplantations to date. The program surpasses national benchmarks, boasting an impressive 100 percent first graph survival rate.

"Our transplant program allows kids in South Texas to undergo transplantation locally rather than driving to Houston or other cities," says Gerardo Gomez, R.N., director of specialty clinics at DCH. "Our program and results are also being presented and shared with other hospitals nationwide."

Gomez attributes the program's success to the team approach adopted by DCH staff and physicians.

"Having a successful program means you have all specialties in place, from nursing to case managers, dietitians, cardiology and endocrinology," Gomez says. "We constantly stay on top of medications, blood pressure and biopsies. It takes a full hands-on approach from all team members."

DCH now hosts a transplant symposium every two years, welcoming the best transplant professionals from across the nation. And yearly kidney camps and transplant reunions help kids and families reconnect, share stories and garner support following the life-changing operation. Gomez says the reunion has helped foster a family-like environment for both staff and transplant patients, half of whom live in the Rio Grande Valley.

"We continue to do the good work and hope to become a premiere center for renal transplantation," Gomez says.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Betsy Williams has extensive experience in economic development and advocating for businesses of all sizes. She enjoyed a 20-year career in chamber of commerce and economic devel... more

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Fri, 10/27/2017 - 19:55