Paired Donor Exchange
The field of kidney transplant surgery is evolving in dramatic ways thanks to the advent of paired exchanges, or ‘kidney swaps.’ During a kidney swap, transplant recipients who have willing live donors essentially swaps donor organs. For patients who have a willing but incompatible donor, the strategy allows people who need a kidney to receive an organ that is a better match to his or her blood type and antibodies than their own donor could provide. The success of such exchanges has given rise to transplants among up to six donor-recipient pairs at the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at NYP/Columbia. And when hospitals across regions coordinate efforts, they are able to organize even larger swaps like the recent swap involving 30 donors, 30 recipients, and 17 hospitals across the U.S. over a four-month period.