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Medical News and Perspectives
April 13, 2005

Kidney Donor Exchange Program Planned

JAMA. 2005;293(14):1716. doi:10.1001/jama.293.14.1716

With about 60 000 patients on the national waiting list for kidney transplants and too few donated cadaveric kidneys to meet the demand, transplant experts are hoping to boost the number of living donor transplants by developing a national matching program for donor exchange kidney transplants.

Several hospitals and regional consortia across the country have developed donor exchange kidney transplant programs. The programs identify a patient in need of a kidney transplant who has a willing donor who is not compatible and match the patient-donor pair with another patient-donor pair that has the opposite type of incompatibility. Physicians then perform simultaneous operations to swap the donor kidneys, and each patient receives a compatible kidney.

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