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Kidney Exchanges On A National Scale

http://media.soundmedicine.org/segments/051913_7.mp3

Many people in need of kidney transplants have family members or loved ones who are willing to donate a kidney. However, willing donors often aren’t matches. Kidney exchanges allow people who need transplants but have an incompatible donor to pair with families with the same problem and exchange kidneys. According to Sommer Gentry, Ph.D., kidney exchanges can be done between two families or can be done on a much larger scale. Dr. Gentry and her husband, Dorry Segev, M.D., developed an algorithm to allow kidney exchanges on a national scale. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, which governs the national transplant distribution system, is considering adopting the algorithm for kidney exchanges nationally.