JH Convenes Conference to Develop Blueprint for Paired
By Trent Stockton
Kidney transplant experts from across the United
States convened in Chicago last week to design a national
paired kidney exchange program. Paired kidney exchanges
provide organs to patients who have a willing, designated
donor who is incompatible. A kidney from such a donor is
matched to and transplanted into the recipient of a second
donor-patient pair, and vice versa. The transplants are
"The shortage of donor kidneys for patients who need
kidney transplantation is a national public health
problem," said conference organizer Robert A. Montgomery,
associate professor of surgery and director of the
Comprehensive Transplant Center at Johns Hopkins. "A
national matching program for paired kidney exchange will
save thousands of lives each year and drastically reduce
the medical costs associated with kidney disease."
Several transplant professionals who pioneered paired
kidney donation in the United States lead the program,
including Frank Delmonico of Harvard, Lloyd Ratner of
Columbia, Michael Rees of Medical College of Ohio and E.
Steve Woodle of the University of Cincinnati. Other
attendees were surgeons, nephrologists, immunogeneticists,
nurse coordinators, administrators, regulators, psychiatric
professionals, social workers and informatics and database
The goal of the conference was to develop consensus
among experts about criteria, operational standards,
ethical issues and coordination of a national program.
The conference was made possible through a financial
contribution from Margery Pozefsky of Baltimore, a patient
who benefited from a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins.
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