August 16, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Karen Blum
Physicians at Johns Hopkins’ Comprehensive Transplant Center have established a paired kidney exchange program, helping patients get a kidney when they have a willing, designated donor whose blood type is incompatible.
In a paired kidney exchange, a kidney from such a donor is matched and transplanted into the recipient of a second donor-patient pair, and vice versa. The transplants are performed simultaneously.
"It’s estimated that paired exchanges could benefit about 3 percent of patients on the waiting list, yielding about 1,500 additional transplants," says Robert A. Montgomery, M.D., Ph.D., director of the new program and assistant professor of surgery at Hopkins. Nearly 49,000 people are waiting for kidney transplants in this country, according to The United Network for Organ Sharing.
The program was made possible through a financial contribution from a former kidney recipient, Margery Pozefsky of Baltimore. Pozefsky’s husband, Thomas, an internist on the Hopkins faculty, wanted to donate a kidney to his wife but their blood types were not compatible. At the time, Margery Pozefsky asked if they could swap with another couple, but physicians told her there was no nurse coordinator to arrange that, so she donated money to hire Janet Hiller, a nurse manager. Margery Pozefsky received a kidney from her son, Kenneth Payton, Oct. 13, 2000, and is now doing well.
For more information about the technique, contact Hiller at 410-614-6904 or Montgomery at 410-614-8297.
Related Web sites:
The Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center: http://www.med.jhu.edu/transplant
Transplant Resource Center of Maryland:http://www.mdtransplant.org
United Network for Organ Sharing:http://www.unos.org