News and Events

Rambam Marks its 40th Pediatric Kidney Transplant

Publication Date: 1/20/2019

In five years, 40 patients have received chances for new lives thanks to the kidney transplant team at Rambam Health Care Campus’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital. Last week, a two-year-old girl joined the ranks of the medical center’s “young transplant family” – the only facility in Northern Israel that performs these surgeries.

Rambam's pediatric kidney transplant team in action. Photography: Pioter FliterRambam's pediatric kidney transplant team in action. Photography: Pioter Fliter

A pediatric kidney transplant, the fortieth of its kind, was performed several days ago on a two-year-old girl from the north at Rambam’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital. The kidney donor, Muhamad Hamid – the 15-year-old son of the mayor of the town of Um-el Fahm – died after sustaining serious injuries after falling while riding his bicycle, which resulted in a years-long coma. The transplant performed at Rambam was successful.

With the establishment of the pediatric transplant program five years ago, Rambam became the only hospital in Northern Israel, and the second one in the nation, to perform these operations. Over the years, Rambam’s transplant team has gained extensive experience in the complex process of transplantations from the living and from the deceased, back-to-back transplants, and even kidney transplantations for patients from around the region.

Pediatric kidney transplantation requires specialized skill and knowledge. At Rambam, this surgery is performed by a multidisciplinary team specifically designated and trained for this purpose. The team is comprised of doctors and nurses from the departments of Pediatric Surgery, Vascular Surgery, General Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Pediatric Radiology; the Pediatric Nephrology, and Pediatric Intensive Care Units; the Nuclear Medicine Institute; the Immunology and Tissue Classification Laboratory; and more.

At any given time at Rambam, dozens of children are being treated for end-stage renal failure and are dependent on dialysis. With time, most of them will need a kidney transplant. In recent years, awareness of organ donation from deceased and living donors has increased, making it possible to perform these operations more frequently.

“As we mark the fortieth transplant, there is great satisfaction,” says Dr. Ran Steinberg, Director of the Department of Pediatric Surgery, who heads the transplantation program at Rambam. “From year to year, experience and knowledge has grown, and we are expanding our family of transplant patients who have new lives and better futures. The best part of performing these surgeries is the support of the hospital administration and the close cooperation of all involved, working together for the benefit of our patients.”