More Paired Kidney Exchanges Could Dramatically Increase Number Of Transplants

An additional 1,000 patients could undergo kidney transplants in the United States annually if hospitals performed more transplants using paired kidney exchanges, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Also known as kidney chains, paired kidney exchanges, which allow incompatible donors to give a kidney on a loved one's behalf and ensure that their loved one gets a compatible kidney from a third party - usually a stranger - in return, have become much more common since 1999 when The Johns Hopkins Hospital pioneered the practice. But the dramatic growth in the use of these exchanges - from 93 transplants in 2006 to 553 in 2010 - has now stalled, primarily because of financial barriers related to logistics, administrative costs and insurance coverage for donors, researchers say.


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