First kidney transplant from deceased donor at SKMC successful

WAM Abu Dhabi, 1 May, 2013 (WAM)– In a landmark surgery in for UAE, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) carried out kidney transfer and transplant from a deceased donor from Saudi Arabia to a 23 years old Abu Dhabi patient.

The kidney transfer and transplant were accomplished successfully and the patient, a 23 year old female who has suffered kidney failure for 16 years, is improving daily. The organ is functioning normally and she is no longer on dialysis.

Commenting on this remarkable achievement, Saif Bader Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company commented that the success is further evidence of SEHA’s commitment to provide world-class healthcare services to the residents of Abu Dhabi.

He added that the current organ transplant program is supported extensively by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Chairwoman of Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, who sponsored the Middle East Society of Organ Transplantation conference recently held in the capital Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Ali Abdulkareem al-Obaidli, Chief Clinical Officer at SEHA, related the story of the patient recipient. Latifa Sai’ed, born and raised in the UAE, suffered from a rare syndrome that resulted in kidney failure at the age of 7. She had been on dialysis for 16 years ever since and endured multiple problems and issues common to long term dialysis patients such as blood clots, inflammations and painful procedures such as cathertization. And then word was received that a young man was lost his life in a traffic accident in Saudi Arabia. His family decided immediately to donate his organs to help save the lives of those needing organ transplants who might be a tissue match to their son.

The UAE is a signatory to the Organ Transplantation Agreement between GCC countries. The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties and the Saudi Centre for Organ Transplantation put out the word on the organs that would become available. Tests showed that Latifa was a near perfect match for the organ and arrangements were made to harvest the organ and rush it from Saudi to the UAE by jet as time was of the essence.

Tremendous efforts were required by individuals at the Ministry of Health, Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Airport Commission, UAE Customs and other Federal and Abu Dhabi agencies to ensure delivery of the organ to SKMC.

Al Qubaisi praised the efforts of surgeons and medical team in both the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi as well as all the parties involved in the success of this process and thanked the team in charge of this program in The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties and the Saudi Centre for Organ Transplantation for the kidney donation and their continued support and help.

He also praised the valuable efforts exerted by the Ministry of Health, the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi and the Organ Transplant Committee for supporting the organ transplantation program in the UAE. Lastly he praised and thanked the aggrieved family of the donor for their generous and selfless act of kindness in making the donation from their beloved son.

Dr. Ali Abdulkareem al-Obaidli, Chairman of The National Organ Transplantation Committee and member of the Gulf Organ Transplantation Committee said, “This cooperation falls under the umbrella of the Organ Transplantation Agreement between GCC member countries. And in this context, I would like to thank the Saudi Council of Health Services and The Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, as well as all the relevant authorities in the UAE for facilitating all logistic operations related to transferring the kidney and delivering it in time to the patient in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. I too extend my thanks to the generous family who made this donation and saved this girl’s life”.

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City has conducted 75 kidney transplants, all from living related donors in the past. Amongst them there were seven children, the youngest being four years old, while the oldest 64 years old. However, this was the first transplant ever from a deceased donor.

latheef WAM/LTF