National Kidney Registry Facilitates 1,000th Transplant

The National Kidney Registry announced the successful completion of its 1,000th paired exchange transplant, making it the first program in the world to complete 1,000 kidney exchange transplants. The 1,000th transplant, completed today at the University of Cincinnati, is part of a chain of 10 transplants.

These transplants are taking place at other centers across the country including, UCSF Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Lahey Clinic, Loyola University Medical Center, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Froedtert Hospital, and VCU Medical Center.

The NKR organized its first exchange transplants just over six years ago, in February of 2008, at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Commenting on the past six years, Dr. Sandi Kapur, Chief of Transplant Surgery and Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Surgical Director of NKR said, “These 1,000 transplants would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the transplant professionals at the 70 NKR member centers and the many altruistic donors who have given the gift of life to those suffering from kidney failure. Our program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell has been able to transplant over 100 patients with incompatible donors during this time period including many highly sensitized patients.”

Dr. Jeffrey Veale, the Director of the UCLA Exchange Program remarked, “We have seen the widespread adoption of paired exchange over the past six years which has allowed many patients with incompatible donors to receive a lifesaving transplant. We are thrilled that UCLA has been able to transplant over 100 patients with incompatible donors over the past six years and we look forward to working with the other NKR Member Centers to quickly surpass the 2,000 transplant milestone.”

Dr. E. Steve Woodle, Director of the Division of Transplantation, holder of the William Altemeier Chair in Surgery at the University of Cincinnati, and a founder of one of the first multi-center kidney exchange programs in the United States said, “When we first published the ethical and scientific foundations for kidney exchange programs in 1997, we hoped that someday we would have kidney exchange programs like the NKR. This accomplishment by the NKR exemplifies what dedicated leadership and membership can accomplish with kidney exchange. Our hats are off to those who built the NKR.”

The goal of the NKR is to facilitate 1,000 transplants annually by 2020. Above is the history of NKR transplants.

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