Fifteen years after Australian Rotary Health (ARH) funded research into a Lung Transplant Program, lead researcher Professor Gregory Snell has told us “Literally now thousands of life years have been gained” as a result.
Prof Snell was awarded a Funding Partner Grant in 2005, supported by ARH and the Rotary Club of Williamstown/Dr Ronnie Goldberg, which showed that a new technique for recovering donated organs after cardiac death could be used for human lung transplantation. This resulted in a 95% survival rate for patients and the reduction of deaths while on the waiting list from 29% to 3%
In a recent letter to Australian Rotary Health, Prof Snell wrote that the “This translation of science to a clinical reality has been incredibly successful.”
“At the Alfred Hospital Melbourne, we have gone on to do 250 such transplants over the last 15 years. The very first patient we did was an ill young mother with a one-year-old child. I’m pleased to say she now enjoys the ups and downs of a 17-year-old child who has had a mum for all this time.”
The work of Prof Snell and his team has also now been rolled out to the rest of Australia, with another 150 transplants in other states. Prof Snell said it makes up 33% of transplants going forward.
“It has been particularly useful in finding extra organs to transplant children. We have presented countless times in international meetings and symposiums, created an international database, written publications, and continue to this day to have plots and plans as to how to use this idea to get even more lungs for human transplantation.”
The success of the transplant program in Australia with lung donation, has also resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of kidneys, livers, and – more recently – even hearts available for transplantation.
“We are extremely appreciative of the support from Rotary, and specifically the Rotary Clubs and Dr Ronnie Goldberg. Literally now thousands of life years have been gained. Thank you.”
Media contact: Jessica Cooper – firstname.lastname@example.org