ST. LOUIS, Mo — The first step to getting an organ transplant is to get on the national waiting list. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) more than 118,000 people in the U.S. are waiting to receive a life-saving organ transplant.
SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is one of only two adult transplant programs in the St. Louis area. In 2017 they saw a 21 percent increase in kidney and transplant referrals. The Transplant Center at SSM Health St. Louis University includes specially trained nurses, patient care coordinators, SLUCare physicians, and provides medical care for patients with end-stage organ failure.
Starting October 12th the same care is being offered to transplant patients in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties. You can get it at the SSM Health Outpatient Center at 711 Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. A growing number of patient referrals are coming from rural areas west of St. Charles. They are providing patients easier access to appointments rather than the lengthy drive to St. Louis became necessary.
"Patients do have a number of other treatments to treat their organ disease. For example, patients who have in-stage kidney disease are required to take dialysis treatments,” said Transplant Coordinator Francis Arden Purvis.
This service allows the SSM Health team to come closer to them and remove the travel barrier. Transplant surgery will still be performed at SLU Hospital.
To learn more about transplant services, click here
The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Wednesday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.