One of only 250 programs across the country performing kidney transplants, and the only one in Delaware, the Kidney Transplant Program at Christiana Care Health System celebrated both its fifth anniversary and its 100th transplant in 2011. With two transplant surgeons—S. John Swanson III and Velma Scantlebury—the program is convenient for Delaware patients who otherwise would need to travel to Philadelphia or Baltimore.
“The 100th transplant is exciting, but it is really just the start to what we project as a 60-plus-per year program,” says Swanson, the program chief. Although the majority of kidneys still come from deceased donors, the program is reviewing more living donor pairs, and is participating in a paired donor network called the National Kidney Registry. It seeks to facilitate the matching process between donors and recipients.
CCHS offers monthly patient support group meetings for transplant recipients and organizes an annual holiday party for them. “It is inspiring for the rookie recipients to see how well the veterans are getting along as they move beyond the first months of transplant,” says Swanson.