Sunday, January 10, 2010

A kidney exchange in Minnesota

Josephine Marcotty at the Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune continues to do a great job of reporting on kidney exchange. Here's her latest report: Doubling up on kidney donations.

"The two-way kidney swap between HCMC and the University of Maryland Medical Center this week was a dramatic example of the next best idea in transplant medicine: A highly choreographed computer exchange that matches living donors with people in kidney failure across the country. It promises to save millions of dollars in medical costs and end the ordeal facing many of the 80,000 kidney patients on the nation's transplant list, who face a wait of five years or more to get an organ from a deceased donor."

This exchange involved a highly sensitized patient:
"Very few people in the general population would have been a match for his patient, he said.
Only a large, computerized data base of potential donors could find her that "needle in a haystack," "
"These sophisticated national organ exchanges are still in their infancy, and Minnesota hospitals are only now beginning to participate. In November the Mayo Clinic did a four-way swap among three kidney patients at the Rochester clinic and one at its Arizona clinic. In the last two years, transplant centers in other states have done several hundred such paired exchanges. Late last year, the organization that manages the national transplant system for the federal government launched a pilot program that could eventually create a nationwide matching system.
Growing waiting list
With the rapid spread of kidney disease in the past two decades and an ever-longer waiting list for organs from deceased donors, "the wait times are becoming unpalatable," said Dr. Mark Odland, Johnson's transplant surgeon at HCMC. "You have to start looking for alternatives." "

1 comment:

Acute Renal Failure Diet said...

This is a very smart move. I just learned that there are 4 times more people waiting for a transplant than there are available.

I hope this would contribute greatly to the seemingly forgotten problem on kidney failure.