SUS Roslyn Lecture: Dev Desai, MD, PhD
Health Impacts of Climate Change: The Role and Effect on Organ Transplantation
The 2022 SUS Joel J. Roslyn Lecture was given by Dr. Dev M. Desai, Chief of Pediatric Transplantation and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, titled “Health Impacts of Climate Change: The Role and Effect on Organ Transplantation”. The topic of climate change is one of the many social issues facing the world today. Dr. Desai presented an enlightening perspective of the impact of healthcare system on climate change that many physicians are not aware of. The presentation started with the definition of climate change. The impact of climate change on healthcare not only has direct and indirect negative effects on patients but also has deleterious effects on healthcare providers. Not surprisingly, healthcare systems are the 2nd most energy-consuming sector in the United States, thereby directly impacting climate change. As a transplant surgeon, Dr. Desai identified research studies which demonstrated negative impact of climate change on kidney transplant recipients and patients with end-stage renal disease on the transplant waitlist. More importantly, renal transplant procedure has been shown to reduce the environmental impact compared to dialysis. Dr. Desai closed the lecture by urging healthcare providers to examine their own practices and facilities to identify areas where they may improve for the ultimate goal of reducing global carbon footprint.