KHI News Service

New transplant center at University of Kansas Hospital

By KHI NEWS SERVICE | August 05, 2013

A University of Kansas Hospital organ transplant unit will move to a new location next week.

Hospital officials today said the new unit, scheduled to open Aug. 12, would serve as a "one-stop" clinic for patients in line for liver, kidney, or pancreas transplants.

The unit, 25,000 square feet on the first floor of the KU Hospital will include 36 exam rooms, offices, a dedicated lab and a patient information center. Officials said it would house a "multi-disciplinary" team of about 90 employees. Cost of the new center was $6.5 million.

Dr. Timothy Schmitt, head of the organ transplant program, said patient input played a significant role in the center's design.

“Bringing a multi-disciplinary team together is vital because we handle very complex cases where there is often more than one health issue involved. Patients on our transplant lists are very ill, facing fatal organ failure without a transplant. The Center for Transplantation will allow us to more quickly evaluate and treat underlying health causes, which improve transplant outcomes,” Schmitt said in a prepared statement.

Officials said the hospital's program has attracted patients from across the country and that the liver transplant program is now among the top 25 by volume in the nation. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the hospital performed a record 95 liver transplants, including 15 in May.

The unit performed 100 kidney transplants, including eight that were simultaneous with pancreas transplants.

Officials said the average wait time for a liver transplant currently is 3.9 months versus seven months regionally and 11.1 months nationally.

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