Thursday, December 19, 2019

International kidney exchange between Israel and Czech Republic

The news embargo is over for last week's kidney exchange chain between Israel and the Czech Republic. (On the Israeli side, the necessary software was supplied by Itai Ashlagi, here at Stanford.)

Itai writes:
"Some background: in August 2019 there was an agreement between Israel and Czech republic to check the possibility of kidney exchanges. This was initiated by Prof. Eitan Mor from Israel  and Dr. Proniak from the Czech Republic and the whole operation was conducted by the national Israeli center for transplantation led by Dr. Tamar Askenazi and their counterpart in Czech republic."

The Israeli database contains a list of all pairs, and uses kidney exchange software donated to Israel by Itai Ashlagi and Sukolsak Sakshuwong.   Czech software was used in Prague to identify the chain.

Here's the story from News1 in Israel:

6 transplants thanks to the exchange of kidney donations between Israel and the Czech Republic

"At 5 a.m., two kidneys from two donors were removed from Beilinson Hospital. One kidney was packed in ice cooler and transported by ambulance to Ben Gurion Airport.

"About an hour after taking off from Israel, an operation to remove a Czech donor kidney was started at the Prague Hospital. At the same time, Bilinson's second kidney was transplanted, and surgery was performed to remove a kidney at Hadassah Hospital – which was transported by ambulance to Bilinson's transplant.

"At 12:30 the kidney cooler from Israel landed at the Prague airport. A vehicle was waiting by the plane and moved to the mirroring spot. At this point, Dr. Jiri Froniac, director of the Prague Transplant Program and Dr. Ashkenazi from Israel, met and exchanged documents while the coolers were [scanned].

"At the same time, the kidney from Hadassah Hospital was transferred to Beilinson for a transplant. An hour later, the Israeli plane took off from Prague back to Israel with a cooler containing the kidney from the Czech donor. The kidney came to the operating room in Hadassah and before the evening was transplanted in a patient.

Diagram of the exchange between IKEM in the Czech Republic and Hadassah and Beilinson Hospitals in Israel
Here's the story in the Jerusalem Post (I don't have a link yet, this is a picture):
And see this related older story about Itai Ashlagi's software:

And here is the story in the Czech news, forwarded by Pavel Chromy.

Čeští lékaři poprvé provedli párovou výměnu ledvin s Izraelem
[Google translate: Czech doctors first performed paired kidney replacement with Israel]
"In the first half of December, doctors from the Prague Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) and two Israeli hospitals performed their first paired kidney exchange between the two countries. Three beneficiaries from the Czech Republic and three from Israel received the new authority. This is the first time a pair exchange has taken place with a non-European country, said IKEM director Michal Stiborek at a press conference."

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