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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 7, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 25
JH Convenes Conference to Develop Blueprint for Paired Kidney Exchange

By Trent Stockton
Johns Hopkins Medicine

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 performed simultaneously.

"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 experts.

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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