Two-Way Kidney Exchange | Two-Way Kidney Swap Between UMMC and Minnesota Hospital | Nancy Miller patient success story | Q&A with Dr. Matthew Cooper | Four-Way Kidney Exchange | Kidney Transplant Program
How did this two-way kidney swap between UMMC and the hospital in Minnesota come about?
We were contacted that a donor and recipient in Minnesota that were also incompatible with one another were matches for Nancy and Cindy.We began communications with them and shared patient records after appropriate consent was received from all parties to share information. When both centers were comfortable with the data on donors fortheir recipients and the crossmatches were completed and confirmed to be acceptable, a date for surgery was chosen.
How are Nancy and Cindy doing now?
Nancy was out of the hospital in two days and is doing very well. She is anxious to get the message out about organ donation. Cindy is recovering and has returned home. This transplant truly saved her life.
What makes UMMC uniquely qualified to handle these types of exchanges?
The University of Maryland has always been a leader in both surgical innovation and opportunities for patients in transplantation. Paired kidney exchange is yet another option we provide for patients that have a living donor that is otherwise healthy and suitable for donation but incompatible with their intended recipient. We've invested significant resources, including two clinical coordinators, to oversee this program and assistants in the office to facilitate such procedures.
It is a program that not all centers are able to participate in, partly due to the complexity of the organization necessary to plan these procedures either within the institution or with other medical centers that may require flying an organ to another part of the country. Also, there needs to be an institutional commitment, especially the OR, to provide space for these multiple transplants and/or odd timing for an operation to occur to minimize the effect of cold ischemia time on a living organ. We set high expectations for this transplant program, eliminate barriers for patients, and open the door for many to receive the Gift of Life.
Is this the way of the future, or, in other words, do you expect an increase in these paired kidney exchanges?
The future for transplantation will continue to look for answers for patients seeking to avoid the effects of end-stage renal disease. We can no longer look at incompatibility with a living donor as an excuse to deny kidney disease patients the Gift of Life. Paired kidney exchanges such as this will become the standard of care across major transplant centers and will be a regular activity here at the University of Maryland that is committed to organ transplantation and to those that come to us as a leader in the field.