Phoenix area hospital performing kidney transplants with hep C

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Phoenix area hospital performing kidney transplants with hep C

Would you take a kidney transplant if it was infected with hepatitis C?

What would you say if doctors were able to get you a kidney transplant fast but you’d get hepatitis C?

“Most people at the beginning they say no they don’t want that,” said Dr. Alfredo Fabrega, director of Banner Health’s transplant program.

He said now he’s usually able to change their mind.

“It’s about five years to wait for a kidney and the mortality rate on the waiting list is very high,” said Fabrega.

He’s created a kidney transplant program at the hospital that offers patients the option of receiving a kidney with hepatitis C.

He said not only are there now ways to treat the virus quickly but the big difference is there is almost no wait time for the transplant.

“The average waiting time is less than two months,” said Fabrega.

The hospital has already done seven hepatitis C kidney transplants since last fall and said all of them have been successful. Some patients have already been cured of the virus just months after their surgery.

But while these organs are saving lives, there is a dark side to why.

Dr. Fabrega said in the past couple years, there’s been quadruple the number of people in their 20s and 30s dying from the opioid epidemic, many who had hep C. He hopes now that they’ve found a way to use their young organs, it may help more than one person.

Read on: Phoenix area hospital performing kidney transplants with hep C

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