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Temple University Hospital Joins the National Paired Kidney Donation Network

Temple Lists its First “Pair” with this Life-saving Resource

Temple University Hospital has listed its first kidney-transplant “pair” – a transplant candidate and potential donor - with the National Paired Kidney Donation Network, a consortium of 50 transplant centers throughout the United States.   The Network employs a unique and creative “paired donation” system that helps increase a kidney-transplant candidate’s ability to find a suitable match from among living donors.  

Every year, hundreds of individuals offer to donate one of their healthy kidneys to a relative or friend who requires a kidney transplant.   In certain cases, the proffered kidney is not a suitable clinical “match” for its intended recipient – either because of immunological incompatibilities or differences in blood type.  

At Temple, such an incompatible pair (i.e., a kidney-transplant candidate and her/his potential donor) can now register with the National Paired Kidney Donation Network to be “matched” with another clinically incompatible pair.  “One of the strengths of the Paired Kidney Donation system is that pairs are clinically matched – so that we have a ‘match’ involving four individuals,” explains John A. Daller, MD, PhD, Director of the Abdominal Organ Transplant Program at Temple University Hospital.  “Another strength is that the process stops completely unless all four individuals agree to move forward.   That way, no one ever feels pressured.” 

 “It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” continues Daller.   For example, if a brother cannot donate one of his kidneys to his ailing sister due to their clinical incompatibility, that brother/sister pair may be matched to another pair – perhaps a mother unable to donate a kidney to her desperately-ill daughter.    In this scenario -- where the ‘brother/sister’ pair is found to be a good clinical match with the ‘mother/daughter’ pair -- the brother’s kidney would go to the daughter, and the mother’s kidney would go to the sister.  

 “Ultimately, the Network’s innovative way of matching live donors with recipients results in more life-saving kidney transplants being performed,” says Daller.   “It also enhances outcomes.”  According to the most recent data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), patients who receive a kidney transplant from a living donor have a five-year survival rate of 90.2%, compared to an 81.9% survival rate for those with a cadaver donor.

“Despite an increase in organ donation, the demand for kidney transplantation continues to far outstrip the combined supply of available living and deceased donor kidneys,” adds Daller.   “The Paired Kidney Donation Network offers a way to circumvent clinical barriers that preclude living donor kidney transplantation.”

Temple University Hospital is a regional leader in transplantation services – performing transplants of all solid organs (kidneys, lungs, hearts, and pancreas).    Since 1989, more than 375 kidney transplants have been performed at Temple University Hospital.  Of  those, approximately 25% are living donor kidney transplants.

Contact: Rebecca Harmon
(215) 707-8229
Thursday, May 1, 2008

Date Published: Thursday, May 1, 2008