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Organ Transplant Rehabilitation

St. John's Rehab's specialized organ transplant rehabilitation program is the only one of its kind in Canada. The program was developed in partnership with University Health Network (UHN). We provide intensive rehabilitation to adults who have undergone heart, lung, renal, liver and other transplants. We also offer treatment of acute issues for transplant patients at any stage of their lives.

Referrals & Admissions

Inpatient Referral Forms

Inpatient Admission Criteria

  • Medically stable with no significant fluctuations in medical status within 72 hours.
  • Motivated to participate in rehab, has active rehab goals, and is able to participate in two sessions of active rehab therapy five to seven days a week.
  • Able to sit unsupported for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Patient's cognitive abilities and state of mental health support participation in active rehab.
  • Non-ventilated breathing.

Special needs accommodated (on a case-by-case basis) include the following:

  • IV therapy (PICC and portacath only)
  • Intermittent oxygen therapy/home oxygen
  • Tracheotomy (must by corked)
  • Intermittent tube feeds (PEG tube only)
  • Ostomy

Outpatient Referral Forms

Download our Outpatient Referral Form on our referral information page.

Please include all relevant medical/therapy reports with your application

Outpatient Admission Criteria

  • Has active rehab goals and is able to participate and tolerate increasing amount of rehab therapy.
  • Has adequate cognitive communication abilities for rehab.
  • Has a reliable means of transportation.

Woman looking at herself in a mirrorProgram Details

By providing an intensive program of therapy, education and support tailored to the individual needs of transplant recipients, our dedicated rehabilitation professionals can enhance functional outcomes and the health and wellness of patients. Rehabilitation from organ transplants also includes education about diet, exercise, proper use of medication as well as social and psychological support.

The integrated model of care between St. John's Rehab and UHN is supported through patient and team consultations using telemedicine technology and joint research and education inititatives.

Program backgrounder

St. John's Rehab at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is dedicated to specialized rehabilitation. Our organ transplant rehabilitation program is the Canadian leader in rehabilitation for recipients of heart, lung, renal, liver and other transplants.

  • The program was developed in partnership with University Health Network (UHN) and is the only specialized transplant rehab program in Canada.
  • The integrated model of care between St. John's Rehab and UHN is supported through patient and team consultations using leading-edge videoconferencing technology and joint research and education initiatives.
  • The individually customized program consists of assessment, treatment and support focused on the whole person - body, mind and spirit.
  • Our multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals develops goals and timelines with each patient and keeps in close contact with them and their families. This helps achieve maximum recovery, independence and quality of life.
  • Rehabilitation includes education about diet, exercise, proper use of medication, activities of daily living, as well as social and psycho-social support.
  • Once discharged, patients can benefit from a seamless continuum of care by being referred to our outpatient rehabilitation program.
  • Our highly skilled multidisciplinary rehab team includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, physicians, pharmacists, physiatrists, dietitians, social workers, psychologists and spiritual care.

Our organ transplant patients

April 2014 - March 2015

  • Inpatients admitted: 45
  • Outpatient visits: 183
  • Average active rehab length of stay: 22 days
  • Average age of patients: 59 years old
  • Patients aged 55 or older: 80 per cent
  • Gender of patients: 56 per cent male, 44 per cent female

Canadian organ transplant facts

  • According to a report released by the Canadian Institute of Health Information in 2008:
    • Lung transplants in Canada have increased by 84% since 1997.
    • In total, 1,222 lung transplants were performed in Canada between 1997 and 2006.
    • In 2006, 75% of organ transplant procedures were for patients receiving double-lung transplants, a number that more than doubled since 1997.
    • 466 liver transplants were performed in Canada, a 33% increase compared to 1997.
  • According to the Trillium Gift of Life Network in 2010:
    • There were 506 transplants including kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas and small bowel.
    • There are 1,551 on the waiting list for a new organ.
    • In 2010, there are 250 Ontario donors, compared to 273 donors in 2009.

Location and contact

Organ Transplant Rehabilitation Program

St. John's Rehab
285 Cummer Avenue,
Toronto, ON M2M 2G1

Phone: 416-226-6780
Fax: 416-226-5406

Email us

Program Brochure

Organ Transplant Rehabilitation program brochure

PDF Download Download our Organ Transplant Rehabilitation program brochure (PDF, 1.3 MB)

For referring organizations:
If you would like copies of our brochures for you and your patients, please fill out our Printed Material Request Form.