Welcome!

News Feed Item

DMC Harper Hospital Kidney Transplant Program Reaches Out to Serve Detroit's Urban Population

Multidisciplinary approach to transplant therapy gives chronic kidney disease sufferers "a new chance at life" – while currently serving more African-American patients per capita than any other program in the United States.

DETROIT, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Christopher Brantley says he will never forget the moment when he realized that he was going to need dialysis for life if he didn't get a kidney transplant.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130419/DC97517-a)

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130419/DC97517-b)

For the 43-year-old Brantley, a Detroit resident who works as an efficiency expert at one of the city's major hospitals, the "moment of truth" came in November of 2011 ... as he staggered along a hallway on grotesquely swollen and painfully throbbing feet.

"As long as I live, I'll never forget that morning," says Brantley, the father of two children and a Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Specialist who's now working on a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership.  "Up until that day, I'd always been able to convince myself that my chronic kidney disease could be managed.

"But when I woke up that morning, I could barely get from my bedroom to the bathroom.  My feet were swollen up as big as basketballs, and they hurt so bad I just wanted to cry.

"It was then that I finally admitted to myself: If I don't get a new kidney soon, I'm not going to make it."  Deeply concerned, Brantley feared that if he were required to undergo regular dialysis, he might lose his job due to scheduling issues.  He also fretted that he might lose the scheduling flexibility needed for business – and that he would find it much more difficult to care for his children.

Fortunately for Brantley, a former top competitor on the swimming team at the city's Southwestern High School, a friend had already recommended that he visit the Kidney Transplant Program at DMC Harper University Hospital.

"I do think I was very lucky," says Brantley today, "because the doctors and nurses at the Harper Kidney Transplant Program immediately stepped in to help me get the care I so badly needed.  From that point on, I knew I was in good hands – and I actually began to believe that my health might be restored."

Like 26 million other Americans now struggling with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), Christopher Brantley faced a huge health challenge.  A lifelong Type I diabetic, his kidneys were slowly failing.  By 2011, in fact, he'd already lost all but about six percent of his kidney function.

Long a major public-health problem in Detroit, diabetes-linked CKD requires thousands of area patients to undergo kidney dialysis treatment several times a week.  Of the 13,000 patients on dialysis in the state of Michigan, 4,500 reside in Wayne County alone. For this stressed patient population, which is heavily African-American, kidney dialysis provides a vital, life-supporting function. On average, 20 percent of the patients on dialysis will die every year, however.  This average is much higher than for patients with common cancers such as colon, prostate and breast cancer. The good news is that kidney transplant provides a second chance at life and reduces the risk of death per year to only eight percent.

The deceased donor waiting list for patients in need of a kidney transplant now exceeds 2,600 – and the average wait-time is around five years.

An option for patients on the wait-list is to receive a kidney from a living donor.  A living donor transplant allows a kidney failure patient to get a kidney much quicker than waiting for a deceased donor transplant -- and kidneys from a living donor, on average, last twice as long as kidneys from a deceased donor.  Sometimes, though, finding a living donor whose body-chemistry "matches" the chemistry of the recipient can be an overwhelming and difficult challenge. But the good news for many Harper kidney patients who have a live donor is that the "matching" problem has been partly overcome by the donor and recipient pair participating in a hospital based and national donor exchange program. With this program, if the donor is not compatible to the recipient, the kidneys are swapped in an exchange with another live donor and recipient pair who are also not compatible. Thanks to newer medications and protocols, kidney specialists are now able to perform more transplants in situations where it was previously not possible due to the presence of pre-formed anti-donor antibodies in the recipient, commonly referred to as "desensitization".

For Christopher Brantley, who received a new kidney from a close colleague at work in mid-December of 2011, achieving a successful transplant was literally a life-saver.

"I was very blessed," the joyful Brantley says today.  "First of all, I got an incredible break when one of my co-workers volunteered to give me a healthy kidney.  And I was also very fortunate to wind up at Harper Hospital, where they have a large, multidisciplinary team of specialists dedicated to managing every aspect of a kidney transplant."

At the Harper Organ Transplant Center, kidney specialist (or "nephrologist") Mona Doshi, M.D., remembers Brantley as "a very positive-minded, very optimistic patient who was absolutely determined to get better.

"Christopher brought a very constructive attitude to the process of recovering his kidney health and that was very helpful," recalls Dr. Doshi, who managed his care during the lead-up to the transplant operation. 

"But his successful outcome was also the result of many coordinated efforts by our dedicated team of multidisciplinary caregivers – including transplant surgeons, nephrologists, nurses, pharmacist, dietician, social worker, financial coordinator, immunology lab personnel, and support staff."

During a successful operation that took place on December 14, 2011, Christopher Brantley received a healthy new organ from his friend at work. After a hospital stay of only five days, Brantley returned to his Detroit home and his two young children, Dominic and Chrisha.  "I had a little pain and a lot of staples," he remembers today.  "But as long as I live, I'll never forget Christmas morning, a few weeks later.  There we all were, sitting around the Christmas tree together.  I'd saved up some money and I spent most of it on presents for the kids.  And I told myself: This is the best Christmas of my entire life."

For Dr. Doshi, meanwhile, Christopher Brantley's successful outcome is a compelling example of how the veteran Harper Kidney Transplant Team is often able to use its carefully honed skills to "give patients a second chance at life."

Describing the transplant program, she's quick to point out that CKD patients often face "an uphill battle" to recover their health.  "Unfortunately, the average life expectancy for kidney dialysis patients is markedly lower than age-, gender-, and race-matched individuals from general population," she says, "and kidney transplant will partly lower this increased mortality associated with dialysis.  And it's also true that although African-Americans make up only about 15 percent of the general population, they account for 30-40 percent of those on dialysis."

While noting that April is Organ Donation Awareness Month, Dr. Doshi urged potential donors to consider giving friends and loved ones the most precious gift imaginable: "The gift of a second chance at life."  Such donations are especially needed in the Detroit area, she added, while pointing out that "at Harper, we're really proud of the fact that our kidney-transplant program reaches more African-American patients, per capita, than any other program of its kind in the United States."

To learn more about the DMC Harper University Hospital Kidney Transplant Center: http://www.harperhutzel.org/transplant.

About Detroit Medical Center www.dmc.org

The Detroit Medical Center includes DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, DMC Harper University Hospital, DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, DMC Hutzel Women's Hospital, DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, DMC Surgery Hospital, and DMC Cardiovascular Institute. The Detroit Medical Center is a leading regional healthcare system with a mission of excellence in clinical care, research and medical education.

SOURCE Detroit Medical Center

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
The goal of Continuous Testing is to shift testing left to find defects earlier and release software faster. This can be achieved by integrating a set of open source functional and performance testing tools in the early stages of your software delivery lifecycle. There is one process that binds all application delivery stages together into one well-orchestrated machine: Continuous Testing. Continuous Testing is the conveyor belt between the Software Factory and production stages. Artifacts are ...
Did you know that you can develop for mainframes in Java? Or that the testing and deployment can be automated across mobile to mainframe? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Vaughn Marshall, Sr. Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will discuss and demo how increasingly teams are developing with agile methodologies using modern development environments and automating testing and deployments, mobile to mainframe.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...