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50 Years of Transplants | Overview

On May 2, 2021, the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children’s Hospital celebrated 50 years since performing its first transplant. Back in 1971, kidney transplantation was still in its infancy and the primary “transplant team” consisted of the surgeons and a nephrologist. As other organ programs started, they existed in their own silos.

Since those early days, Boston Children’s has performed over 1,800 transplants and formed the interdisciplinary Pediatric Transplant Center, bringing together transplant practitioners and researchers from all organ programs to discuss common issues and learn from each other. We have been leaders in advancing the field of pediatric transplantation, finding new answers when they didn’t previously exist, with the goal of providing the best care for all of our patients and children everywhere.

A few of our accomplishments over the decades:

  • developing techniques to perform dialysis on infants to get them to transplant
  • showing that heart transplants can be performed on small children with congenital heart defects
  • researching and promoting the benefits of split liver transplantation
  • leading and advancing research in immunosuppressant drugs and protocols, from campath to more recently, studying which medicines work best in pediatric patients to prevent heart rejection and have the fewest side effects
  • establishing multi-center collaboratives that allow the study of transplantation in children and not just adults

Over the next 50 years, we will continue our collaborative approach to caring for patients, and look for new ways to move the field forward and improve the care for our patients.

Listen to some of our transplant recipients talk about their care and experience with the Pediatric Transplant Center over the years.


Milestones made possible #becauseofadonor

Join the Boston Children's Hospital Pediatric Transplant Center in celebrating transplant recipients and the organ donors who help make life possible.