National Kidney Registry Completes 56 Participant Swap: Second-Largest Kidney Swap in History

Today, the National Kidney Registry announced the successful completion of Chain 221, the second-largest kidney swap in history and the largest swap to be concluded in under 40 days. Chain 221 involved 56 participants, 19 transplant centers and completed approximately one year after NKR’s largest swap which included 60 participants and was featured on the cover of the New York Times.

The speed of Chain 221 illustrates the enormous progress that’s been made with respect to process improvements that radically shorten setup times for large swaps, reducing the time patients wait for a kidney transplant. Whereas last year’s record-setting swap took six months to complete, Chain 221 took only five weeks to finish.

Large swaps also increase the ability to find matches for the most highly sensitized patients. Chain 221 facilitated transplants for 10 patients who were extremely hard to match. Each of these 10 patients had cPRA levels of above 90%.

County Commissioner and University of Memphis Law Professor, Steven Mulroy, the Good Samaritan donor who initiated Chain 221, said, “Once you realize that this is a way to save a life and possibly many other lives without any real permanent sacrifice on my part, it seems like not only a no-brainer, but a moral imperative.”

When asked about his thoughts on the vast number of patients transplanted from the chain he started, Commissioner Mulroy reflected, “I couldn’t be more gratified to know that I’m helping so many people around the country and illustrating the multiplier effects of altruistic donation in such an impactful way.”

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