Renal Transplant Unit,
Royal North Shore Hospital,
St Leonards NSW 2065
As you are aware when Dr Gavin Carney’s patients are offered a kidney transplant, the operation is performed at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in Sydney. We are writing to include some information that may be useful to you in and around the time that we get an offer. Remember, once you get the call you should begin fasting and pack you bag assuming you will be away for at least 14 days.
You should be aware that recently there has been a change in policy with regards to certain kidney offers. Occasionally we get a call before the kidney has been removed from the donor. Red Cross calls us to get the RNSH team mobilised so that you are ready for the operation as soon as possible. The aim of this policy is to reduce the amount of time a donated kidney is without a blood supply. However a by-product of this policy is that sometimes we are offered a kidney and you will come up to Sydney (or are in mid journey) only for Red Cross to withdraw the offer as they have taken the donor to theatre and decided that the kidney is not good enough for transplantation. This is bitterly disappointing when it occurs and we acknowledge the frustration this can cause to the patients particularly those from ACT and southern NSW who have travelled for many hours for their transplant. The overall aim of the policy is to maximise long-term life to kidney transplants by reducing the hours without a blood supply and currently the long-term gain seems to outweigh the frustration. Consequently when we get an offer it may not be confirmed as a definite for a couple of hours but you should still head up to Sydney until advised otherwise.
The social worker will meet you and your family in the first few days to discuss travel costs and accommodation. IPTAAS is a government subsidy programme that provides financial assistance for your journey and the social worker will help you with this application. An IPTAAS form and information is included in this pack.
Enclosed is a map of the hospital’s location. Royal North Shore Hospital is located on the Lower North Shore of Sydney and hence from Canberra you follow the M5, through the harbour tunnel and then head up the Gore Hill Freeway and take the Artarmon exit. The hospital exit off the freeway is marked.
Park your car in the multistorey car park. Keep your ticket and we will get the Renal Social Worker to liaise with you regarding reduced parking rates. The social worker will provide you with a form to reduce your parking rate to $7.70 per week.
In addition to Dr Carney, you will be contacted by either the renal transplant consultant on call or the renal registrar on call at the time of you kidney offer. If there are any queries while you are driving up to Sydney, the renal registrar should be contacted on 9926 7111 (RNSH switchboard) and ask for the renal registrar on call. Your next-of-kin should leave their contact details with the renal registrar with one nominated person to be seen as the liaison person who will be called immediately after the operation is complete.
Your arrival at RNSH (What do you do?)
On arrival, head to the main building (called Acute Services Building) and take the lift to ward 9A on the 9th floor. Once you arrive at the ward, you well be met by the nursing and medical staff who will prepare you for theatre. You will have bloods taken soon on arrival to ensure no dialysis is required. Within a couple of hours of your arrival you will go to theatre for your operation. You will need to fill in paperwork through admissions.
Your operation will take on average up to 4 hours and you will be in recovery for a couple of hours thereafter and hence family members should expect not to hear any information for 6 hours or so.
We enclose some options for relatives to stay nearby in the early days before and after the operation. The social worker will touch base with your relatives in the first 24 hours to help facilitate accommodation. The renal social worker can be contacted on 9462 9477.
We hope that you find the enclosed information useful and look forward to meeting you in and around your kidney transplant.
Dr Stella McGinn
(Renal Transplant Physician)