Empowering Kidney Transplant Patients through Comprehensive Education

Ever since the Abdominal Transplant Center opened its doors at Dell Seton Medical Center in November 2021, it has successfully completed 21 kidney transplants. The Center has ambitious plans to grow further, aiming for 75 transplants annually within five years and eventually reaching 150 within a decade.

Thanks to generous donations from supporters of the Ascension Seton Foundation, including both family and corporate foundations, the Abdominal Transplant Center has created a valuable Patient Education Video Library.

Patient numbers at the Center are consistently increasing. Currently, they have 74 patients on the waiting list, 46 of whom are ready for a potential kidney match. Additionally, they’ve received 1,179 referrals for transplant recipients and 215 for potential living donors.

Through meaningful conversations with patients and caregivers, the Transplant Team discovered the pressing need for easily accessible education. Understanding the ins and outs of the transplant process – from evaluation criteria to potential risks and benefits – empowers patients to fully grasp the importance of this life-changing procedure. Education also equips patients with the knowledge to make lifestyle adjustments that can improve their eligibility for transplantation and enhance their post-transplant outcomes.

In Texas alone, over 9,650 individuals are on the kidney transplant waitlist, facing an average wait time of 685 days. As they navigate the complexities of the kidney transplant process, individuals and families encounter unique challenges and uncertainties.

Both living and deceased organ donations are life-saving opportunities. Unfortunately, the number of donors in the US has been declining over the years. Living kidney donation has consistently extended the lives of transplant recipients. Providing thorough, unbiased, and transparent education to potential living kidney donors is crucial to boost the number of available kidneys from living donors. This, in turn, benefits those with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) by extending their lifespan and significantly improving their quality of life.

The newly created Patient Education Video Library serves as a guide for patients, caregivers, and potential living donors navigating the kidney transplant or donation journey. Through the support of donations and grants, the Transplant Team developed accessible and inclusive educational content. These materials are available in both English and Spanish on the Center’s website under Transplant Services and Patient Resources. They are also used daily within the clinic to aid team members in their interactions and evaluations with patients.

Building on the success of the initial patient education video library, which averages 200 weekly views, the next phase involves producing a series of videos that provide insights into the Kidney Transplant Patient Experience. These videos aim to shed light on the real-life experiences of individuals with ESKD, covering topics such as transplant evaluation, surgery and recovery, as well as living donation.

These stories and experiences, presented in a friendly interview format, aim to educate viewers in an approachable and informative manner. Future transplant patients, caregivers, and potential donors will benefit from hearing directly from previous patients, creating a personal connection.

Sadly, an average of 17 lives are lost daily while waiting for organ transplants. The Abdominal Transplant Center is dedicated to serving community members in need of life-preserving transplants. Providing education about kidney transplants is vital for individuals on dialysis and those on the transplant waiting list. Comprehensive education empowers patients to make informed decisions and actively engage in their healthcare journey.

By fostering a well-informed patient community, the Abdominal Transplant Center can encourage proactive self-advocacy, improve treatment adherence, and ultimately increase the likelihood of successful kidney transplantation. This effort offers patients renewed hope for a healthier and more fulfilling life.

To learn more about the Patient Education Video Library and to help fund the next phase, please reach out to Victoria Threadgould (Living Kidney Donor) at [email protected]. You can also make a donation to support the Abdominal Transplant Center on our website. Simply select Dell Seton Transplant Program from the drop-down menu.

Published: August 17th, 2023