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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

April 29, 2021, Cassandra Smith-Fields
The Privilege is Ours: Transplant Programs at Phoenix Children’s
Donate Life

The transplant programs at Phoenix Children's specialize in the care and treatment of children with advanced, end stage disease. In 2020 we performed 94 transplant procedures for children in our kidney, bone marrow/immune effector cell (IEC), heart and liver transplant programs. 

Transplant started at Phoenix Children's Hospital in 2002 with the launch of our Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program. Our kidney transplant program has performed more than 230 transplants and provides options of both deceased and living donation to the pediatric patients of Arizona. We are in the top quartile of pediatric programs for volume in the country, and in 2020 fifty percent of our patients received transplant from living donors. With seven providers we have one of the largest teams of pediatric nephrologist in the country working with our transplant program.

Our Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program launched in 2003 and has performed over 500 procedures since that time. Our program is operated in partnership with Mayo Clinic – Phoenix and is one of only 17 centers in the country to receive a +1 rating by the CIBMTR for our survival outcomes. This is the 3rd consecutive year that our program has received this +1 rating which is reserved for the tope 10 percent of programs in the country.

The Heart Transplant Program at Phoenix Children's Hospital started in 2011 when the pediatric transplant team from St. Joseph Hospital moved to PCH. Since that time, we have performed 119 transplants. We are the only center performing pediatric heart transplants in Arizona and have an active mechanical support device program that ensures all options are available to our candidates while awaiting transplant.

The Liver Transplant Program is our youngest program. Phoenix Children’s performed its first liver transplant in 2012 and has now provided transplant to over 50 patients. We are the only center in Arizona that perform pediatric liver transplants and have deceased and living donor options available to our candidates.

Phoenix Children's currently cares for over 1,000 post-transplant patients – many of whom received transplants not only at our hospital, but at other centers across the country before our programs were active or their families moved to Arizona. We currently follow patients from over a dozen different states and partner with programs across the country.

Our teams include pediatricians, surgeons, advanced practice providers, nurse coordinators, pharmacists, social workers, nutritionists and specialists throughout the hospital with specialized training in pediatric transplantation.

The honor of providing care for pediatric transplant recipients is not possible without the gift of organ donation. In 2020, Phoenix Children's Hospital was privileged to provide care for 10 pediatric deceased donors who provided the gift of life to 28 recipients across the country. Additionally, our transplant recipients received the gift of life from 9 living kidney donors and 31 stem cell recipients received a transplant from a living donor.

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