January 11th, 2010

Doubling up on kidney donations

By Kelley Luckstein

At 6:45 a.m. Thursday, the surgeon in Maryland called Eugenia Steffens with an anxious question: How's the weather out there in Minnesota?

 

Don't worry, said Steffens, a transplant coordinator at Hennepin County Medical Center: The airport won't close.

 

With four surgeries and two lives in the balance, it's no wonder the two of them were watching the forecast…

 

The two-way kidney swap between HCMC and the University of Maryland Medical Center this week was a dramatic example of the next best idea in transplant medicine: A highly choreographed computer exchange that matches living donors with people in kidney failure across the country…

 

In November the Mayo Clinic did a four-way swap among three kidney patients at the Rochester clinic and one at its Arizona clinic…"For people with kidney disease, this is the best deal," said Dr. Mikel Prieto, head of Mayo's kidney and pancreas transplant program.

 

Star Tribune by Josephine Marcotty, 1/8/10

Tags: kidney donations, Transplant

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