Thursday, March 29, 2012

Competition among kidney exchanges

I'll be spending today and tomorrow at a "consensus conference" to assess just how much consensus there may be among the different networks presently enabling kidney exchange. Here's a NY Times article on the conference...

Lack of Unified System Hampers Kidney Transplant Efforts

"Many of the most prominent names in the field of kidney transplantation agree that the way to maximize the number of transplants through paired exchanges is to create a single, nationwide registry. That, they note, would vastly expand the pool of potential matches among transplant candidates who have willing but incompatible donors.
"And yet, more than a decade after the first organ swap in the United States, the transplant world remains disjointed, with competing private registries operating with little government oversight or regulation. The federal government started a paired exchange pilot project in late 2010, but it lags far behind nonprofits like the National Kidney Registry in making successful matches."
"In late March, a consortium of medical societies plans to hold a “consensus conference” near Washington to begin the search for common principles, and perhaps a common structure.
“Organs should be seen as a national resource,” said the meeting’s organizer, Dr. Sandy Feng, a transplant surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, medical center. “And so we should look for agreed-upon principles to guide practice.”

Update: post conference, some political spin run through a well meaning NY Times reporter: Experts Recommend Single Registry to Oversee Kidney Transplant Donations

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