KIDNEY TRANSPLANT CHAIN
ANCHOR LEAD: A NEW STRATEGY TO PAIR KIDNEY DONORS KEEPS THE SWAPS GOING, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Daisy chains may invoke images of springtime, but this term is employed to describe a way of aligning kidney transplant donors and recipients to maximize the number of transplants possible, all beginning with an altruistic donor, who simply comes forward to help. Robert Montgomery, a kidney transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins, describes the strategy.
MONTGOMERY: This is important because with this type of chain of transplants that we described in this paper the operations don’t have to occur simultaneously. We’ve referred to it as a daisy chain. What happens is the altruistic donor gives their kidney to someone. Their donor, rather than give their kidney to a recipient on the same day becomes what we call a bridge donor. And they start their own chain. Then we don’t terminate the chain. This chain continues for as long as it continues. :32
Montgomery says the chain usually terminates when someone with a very rare blood or tissue type can’t find a match. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.