Press release from HCA Midwest Health
Remarkable kidney donation and transplant chain—a first in Research’s 132-year history—enables four living donors to donate a kidney to four strangers. This chain of life began when one altruistic and anonymous kidney donor reached out to save one life earlier this year.
Research Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—today announced that multiple physicians and skilled staff have performed an eight-person kidney donation and transplant chain involving four living donors matched to four recipients.
Also known as paired kidney exchange, the transplant chain includes an altruistic, anonymous donor, three other donors and four grateful recipients who come from different communities across the region, including out of state.
Research Medical Center nephrologist Pranavkumar Dalal, M.D., initiated the planning for the kidney transplant chain.
“This allows recipients to receive their organ from a living donor and helps patients get to transplant quicker,” Dr. Dalal says. “Many times, this means getting patients off dialysis sooner, enhancing their quality of life.”
The chain of four kidney transplants over a two-day period is a way to match willing, living donors with recipients affected by kidney disease, even if they are strangers. The program allows patients who have a willing but incompatible donor the option of joining an exchange registry to be matched with donor/recipient pairs in the same situation. Doctors and clinical experts work diligently to find other patients in a similar position, so they can match donors and receive matching kidneys more quickly.
“It all begins with an amazing, altruistic donor,” says surgeon Joe A. Cates, M.D., who performed the four kidney extractions. “Everyday heroes—people willing to give their kidney in order to save another person’s life—made this transplant chain a reality. Thousands of people are waiting for life-saving transplants in the Kansas City region alone. This paired exchange between living donors and their recipients helps raise needed awareness that giving the gift of life is one of the most important things a person can do for another person.”
“A multi-disciplinary team of more than 40 skilled professionals worked for five months to meticulously and passionately orchestrate and then perform this incredible transplant chain,” says surgeon Daniel Murillo, M.D., who performed the transplants. “All eight surgeries went very well, and the recipients are recovering. The four individuals receiving new kidneys have a new lease on life. A living donor kidney functions, on average, 12 to 20 years.”