Wednesday, December 8, 2010

National kidney exchange in Canada

Here's a recent announcement from Canadian Blood Services: Kidney Exchange Registry Goes National, Living Donor Paired Exchange becomes first Canada-wide organ donation registry

"OTTAWA, ON - November 30, 2010 -- Yesterday, the Living Donor Paired Exchange performed the first match run to include kidney patients and donors from all across Canada. In doing so, it became the first Canada-wide organ donation registry.

"The LDPE registry facilitates living kidney donations between patients with a willing but incompatible donor and another pair in the same situation. It is a partnership between Canadian Blood Services and transplant programs across the country, and was launched as a three-province pilot in January 2009. Since then, all other provinces have gradually joined the registry, and with Quebec firming up its participation in October, the initiative has become Canada-wide in scope.

"The inclusion of all provinces in the LDPE is a significant development for patients as it increases the pool of donors. And of course the larger the pool, the more likely patients are to find a match and receive the transplant they need," said Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services. "This is a prime example of how better collaboration and integration can improve donation and transplantation rates in this country, and ultimately, save more lives. It is what sets top performing countries apart."

"The LDPE has registered 185 donor/recipient pairs from across the country, and has been responsible for facilitating 57 kidney transplants since the launch with an additional 16 scheduled for surgery in the weeks ahead.

"Critical to the registry's success has been the inclusion of non-directed donors - a person who is entered into the registry, unpaired and willing to donate to any one in need. "Non-directed donors are selfless heroes that have created 'domino exchanges' which are responsible for 45 of the 57 transplants to date," said Dr. Ed Cole, Chair of the National Kidney Registries Advisory Committee and University Health Network Physician-in-Chief. "Non-directed donors greatly increase the number of available matches, but best of all, since they enter as a single rather than a pair, it means that at the end of the domino chain, one patient on the deceased donor waiting list also gets a transplant."

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