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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.



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