Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Scandia Transplant Kidney Exchange Program (STEP) takes its first steps

Here's a timely story of gift giving from the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden:

Karolinska University Hospital part of the first kidney transplant program across Scandinavia – Scandia Transplant Kidney Exchange Program (STEP)
MON, DEC 23, 2019

"For the first time two kidney replacements have been performed involving donors and transplant patients who are part of the Scandinavian kidney exchange program STEP organized by Scandiatransplant.  The organization coordinates organ donations and transplants in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. During 2018 and 2019 Karolinska University Hospital performed and coordinated three STEP exchange programs with a total of six couples in cooperation with other hospitals in Sweden.
"Both kidney replacements performed during the autumn  involved two couples and  two other university hospitals in Scandinavia, says Lars Wennberg, Chief Physician and Patient Flow Manager Kidney Transplant at Theme Trauma and Reparative Medicine Karolinska University Hospital"

"STEP enables exchange of kidneys between medically accepted but immunologically incompatible donor-recipient pairs. A donor who wants to help a relative that needs a kidney donates anonymously to another unknown person in need of a kidney. In exchange, the next of kin receives a kidney from another recipient's kidney donor. Kidney changes can take place between two or more participating couples.

"Today, a total of 2261 people in the six countries that are included in STEP are waiting for a new kidney compared with 2208 in 2018. The ability to carry out kidney changes between the different countries means that we can shorten waiting times says Bo-Göran Ericzon, Chairman of Scandiatransplant and Professor of Transplantation Surgery Theme Trauma and Reparative Medicine Karolinska University Hospital.

"The necessary database to investigate immunological compatibility has been developed by Scandiatransplant, while the matching algorithm has been developed by Professor Tommy Andersson at the Department of Economics, Lund University in collaboration with Karolinska University Hospital."

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