UMMC: Transplant program keeps patients near home

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — University of Mississippi Medical Center officials say the teaching hospital transplanted 103 kidneys last year, a figure they expect to surpass in 2013.

Dr. Christopher Anderson, associate professor of surgery and division chief of transplant and hepatobiliary surgery, said more patients are able to stay close to home for the major procedure than ever before.

“It means advanced care is more available for Mississippians and that our transplant program’s capabilities have achieved a new level,” he said in a statement.

Anderson would like to average 150 kidney transplant cases a year within five years. Achieving that will require increases in both living and deceased donations.

“I certainly think we have the rate of disease in Mississippi to justify these numbers,” he said.

No other health care facilities in Mississippi transplant organs.

The UMMC transplant teams performed the first of two kidney transplants ever in the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. Previously pediatric patients received their transplants in University Hospital.

“We’re going to preferentially perform transplants at Batson Children’s Hospital for all patients under 18. The pediatric support and expertise there, especially for younger children, is a tremendous asset,” Anderson said.

UMMC receives organs through the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, which is the federally designated organ procurement organization for most of the state.