Neat story...and hopefully congress will approve this for Medicare...BD
UCLA Medical Center on Sept. 20 performed its first living donor kidney "swap," a procedure in which a loved one of a kidney transplant patient who is not compatible as a donor exchanges organs with another incompatible pair under an innovative new paired donation program. UCLA aims to lead the way for other Southern California transplant centers to adopt this life-enhancing procedure. The program seeks to address the acute shortage of organs by enlarging the pool of living donors who want to donate a kidney to a family member or friend but can't due to issues such as incompatible blood types. With so many people waiting for so few available organs, patients can wait up to six years for a cadaver kidney transplant. Nearly 16,000 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list in California, according to statistics from the United Network for Organ Sharing.
"We hope that this procedure will improve the availability of organs for thousands of patients with end-stage renal disease who would benefit from a transplant," he said.
Very few paired kidney donations have been performed at U.S. transplant centers. Congress is now considering legislation regarding paired donations, and Medicare pays for the procedure.