Project Overview

Many patients with kidney failure will live longer and healthier lives if they receive a kidney transplant rather than dialysis. Unfortunately, there are too few deceased donors to meet the need, and most patients wait years for a transplant. Some die while waiting. It is safe for a healthy adult to donate one of their kidneys to a patient with kidney failure. However, in Canada, only one-third of kidney transplants are from living donors.

Living donor transplantation offers many advantages over deceased donor transplantation, including superior rates of graft and patient survival, shorter wait times, and lower health care costs. For these reasons, Canada is looking for ways to safely increase rates of living donor kidney transplantation.

In Can-SOLVE CKD Phase 1 the Living Donation research team, published 10+ peer-reviewed papers with patients as co-authors to address barriers to living donor kidney transplantation (please see list of publications below). We will now mobilize these research findings to achieve more living donor kidney transplants in Canada. Specifically, in Can-SOLVE CKD Phase 2 we will develop benchmarks for an efficient donor evaluation (e.g., how long it should take for candidates to learn if they are eligible to donate), translate our metrics into a scorecard to track how well programs are meeting targets and test and evaluate solutions using the metrics (e.g., the one-day donor evaluation clinic).

In Can-SOLVE CKD Phase 1 we also worked with patients, the Ontario Renal Network and Trillium Gift of Life Network (both part of Ontario Health) to implement a quality improvement intervention to help more eligible patients in Ontario receive a transplant, and we conducted a process evaluation of this intervention. A crucial part of the quality improvement intervention is the Transplant Ambassador Program which connects patients with kidney disease to individuals who’ve undergone transplants to provide guidance and support. In Phase 2 we plan to translate the results of our process evaluation to improve our quality improvement intervention in Ontario and share strategies we used to improve access to transplant across the country.

By increasing awareness and breaking down barriers related to living kidney donations, the Living Donation project aims to ensure that more kidney patients with advanced disease receive the best form of treatment available.

Mobilizing Research Findings to Achieve More Living Donor Kidney Transplants

Project lead(s):

Dr. Amit Garg, Susan McKenzie

Patient lead(s):

Susan McKenzie

Research theme(s):

Transplantation, Living Donation

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