50 years of Liver Transplant operations

For nearly 10 years after the first liver transplant at Addenbrooke’s in 1968, Denver and Cambridge were the only two centres with regular programs of clinical liver transplantation; today in the UK alone there are seven.

Patient care for recipients of a liver transplant has developed into a multi-disciplinary team approach including: hepatologists, liver transplant surgeons, anaesthetists, transplant nurses, transplant coordinators, pharmacists, dieticians, dentists, social workers, haematologists, bacteriologists, biochemists, pathologists, radiologists, radiographers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, infection control sister, engineers, medical equipment technicians, transplant co-ordinate, stoma sister, chaplains, interpreters, dietitians, porters, ambulance crews, couriers, domestic staff, medical photographers, ward clerk, telephonists, central sterile supply staff, catering staff, social workers, nursing teachers and the unit general manager. The laboratory services, in particular the blood transfusion were also crucial to the programme’s success.

The intensive care unit played a major role in the survival of patients receiving liver transplants.  The transplant programme and ICU grew and intertwined here in Cambridge and their close working relationship is a major contributor to the excellent outcomes for patients undergoing organ transplantation.

In 2017, 105 liver transplants, and 10 multi-organ transplants, including the liver, were carried out at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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