After 50 years, St. Michael’s Hospital remains at the forefront of kidney care

Our history of innovations has been remarkable. But we never rest on our laurels. St. Michael’s clinicians and scientists are always at the forefront of new discovery.

St. Michael’s clinicians and scientists are always at the forefront of new discovery.

  • St. Michael’s helped solve the problem of incompatible donors and recipients. This is how it works: family members and friends who wish to donate a kidney but aren’t compatible with their loved one are matched with another donor-recipient pair with the same problem. A “swap” is made so that each recipient gets a kidney. Before this program, 20 per cent of living donors were excluded because they didn’t match the intended recipient.
  • We are the only transplant centre in North America to offer blood-type-incompatible transplants with Glycosorb®, a technology that enables patients to accept a kidney from a donor with a different blood type.
  • St. Michael’s was the first transplant program in Ontario to utilize minimally invasive surgery on living kidney donors. Smaller incisions mean less trauma, less scarring, less pain and reduced recovery time.
  • We have North America’s most ethnically diverse transplant population. We were the first in the world to discover that South Asians experience a higher risk of cardiac events following a transplant, resulting in a change of protocols for this population. And we have a robust international program that has brought living donors from 81 countries. In one case, it took us a mere 21 days to bring a donor from overseas and perform the transplant on our patient here in Canada.
  • We conducted the most extensive clinical research in Canada on a new drug formulation: Tacrolimus is an anti-rejection medication essential for transplant patients. As a result of our work, once-daily tacrolimus has been helping kidney transplant patients since 2005.
  • We conducted the world’s largest clinical trial on dialysis start times: STARRT-AKI set out to determine the optimal time for those with acute kidney injury, a patient group with a high mortality rate, to begin dialysis. St. Michael’s nephrologist Dr. Ron Wald co-led the international trial, which included almost 3,000 patients in 14 different countries. The trial showed there was no significant difference in either survival or post-treatment dialysis dependence between an accelerated or standard treatment strategy; this result influences care protocols for these critically ill patients.

Click here to learn about our campaign to build St. Michael’s Kidney Transplant and Care Centre. Or make a donation here.