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Queen’s Celebrates Its 300th Organ Transplant

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The Queen’s Medical Center Celebrates Its 300th Organ Transplant

HONOLULU The Queen’s Medical Center (QMC) celebrates its 300th organ transplant in conjunction with April designated as “National Donate Life Month.”

Since opening in 2012, The Queen’s Transplant Center – the only place to offer organ transplants in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin – has successfully performed 300 liver, kidney, and pancreas organ transplants.

The organ transplantation program was established by Livingston Wong, MD, at St. Francis Medical Center over four decades ago. It was operated by the Hawaii Medical Center until its announcement on December 16, 2011, that it was shutting down its two hospitals. Since the program was established, there have been over 1,800 transplant patients.

“In an effort to ensure that Hawaii continued to have an active organ transplantation program, The Queen’s Medical Center re-opened the program in January 2012,” said Art Ushijima, President & CEO of The Queen’s Medical Center. “As the only organ transplant center in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim, the program continues to be highly successful in its outcomes and in providing such an invaluable service to our community.”

On November 15, 2016, The Queen’s Transplant Center facilitated the first trans-pacific transplant in Hawaii through the National Kidney Registry. This milestone marks the first time that live donor kidneys have been couriered over the Pacific Ocean. In Hawaii, there is a very small pool of people participating in our kidney paired donation program, making it difficult to find a match for incompatible pairs. Prior to this, local kidney transplant candidates interested in kidney paired donation would have to fly to the mainland to get assistance from transplant centers with a trade program. This process resulted in patients incurring large out-of-pocket expenses, as well as at least one month of recovery time away from home.

Nationally, there are an estimated 118,271 patients who are in end-stage organ failure waiting for a life-saving organ. Thousands more are in need of life-restorative tissue. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the need for organs is growing almost twice as fast as the supply. About 18 people die every day waiting for a donated organ because there are not enough organs to meet the need.

Currently, 426 people are on the waiting list for kidney and liver transplants in Hawaii.

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The Queen’s Medical Center (Queen’s), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, is an acute care medical facility accredited by The Joint Commission. The facility is licensed for 575 acute beds and serves as the major tertiary and quaternary referral center for cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, orthopaedics, surgery, emergency medicine and behavioral health medicine. It is the state’s designated trauma center verified as Level II by the American College of Surgeons. It has the only organ transplantation program in Hawaii. Queen’s is a major teaching hospital, serving as a clinical training site for the residency programs sponsored by the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. Queen’s is the only hospital in Hawaii to achieve Magnet® status – the highest institutional honor for hospital excellence – from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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