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Mason Trust gifts AU Health more than $272,000 to purchase kidney perfusion pump

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Written by Lisa Kaylor

The Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust has given $272,732 to AU Health’s Carlos and Marguerite Mason Solid Organ Transplant Center to purchase a perfusion pump, which will help improve recovery for patients who have received a kidney transplant.

“The objective of this pump is to improve the kidney function after transplant and decrease the need for dialysis in the initial weeks after transplant,” said Dr. Ahmad Mirza, a transplant surgeon at Augusta University Medical Center and a clinical assistant professor of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation in the department of Surgery for the Medical College of Georgia.

Mirza said that the perfusion pump also conducts a careful assessment of the kidney that is being transplanted (donor kidney) which helps the medical team ensure the quality of the organ for the recipient.

Studies show that utilizing a perfusion pump to care for donated kidneys increases the chances for better outcomes for transplant patients. Longer travel distances for organs means an increase in the time the organ is stored on ice, which can lead to delayed function and poor outcomes. The addition of a perfusion machine significantly reduces these effects and improves post-transplant outcomes, also lessening the length of patient stays.

As the only kidney transplant center in Georgia outside of Atlanta, the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Solid Organ Transplant Center at AU Medical Center provides care for the sickest and most challenging kidney transplant patients. The center provides for clinical needs, consultations, lab services, infusions, echocardiograms, medication assistance and transplant educational materials for donors and recipients.

About 82 lifesaving transplant surgeries are performed each year at AU Medical Center, according to Christina Wiggins, administrator of transplant services.

The Mason Trust was established by the estate of Marguerite Fugazzi Mason in memory of her husband Carlos Mason to help ensure access to care for all Georgians in need of a kidney transplant. To date the Mason Trust has given over $16 million to MCG and AU Health System, including a $1.45 million gift to name and help fund the construction of the $4.1 million Carlos and Marguerite Mason Solid Organ Transplant Center and a $215,000 gift in 2021 to support telehealth initiatives enabling remote care of patients at the Health System’s Savannah and Albany transplant clinics.

About the author

Lisa Kaylor

Lisa Kaylor is the Lead Communications and Media Coordinator for AU Health. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-5292 or lkaylor@augusta.edu.