National Kidney Registry Facilitates First Transcontinental Direct Donation Kidney Transplant

The National Kidney Registry announced the successful completion of the first transcontinental direct donation kidney transplant. The donor surgery was completed on May 23 at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California.

The kidney was then transported from San Diego to Boston on a red-eye flight that arrived early in the morning on May 24. The kidney was the transplanted into the recipient at Massachusetts General Hospital later that morning. This remote donation allowed the donor in San Diego to avoid traveling to Boston for the donor testing and surgery. This approach makes it easier and less expensive for donors, allowing them to recover at home instead of staying in a hotel in a distant city for a week to recover from surgery before flying home.

“We’ve had tremendous success with our patients receiving transplants through the National Kidney Registry; It’s exciting to think we have opened up new possibilities for donors to stay in their home town and recover without having to travel across the country and incur expenses
in order to save the life of a loved one,” observed Tammy Wright, transplant coordinator at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Anne Seaward-Hersh, transplant coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital, added, “This new approach will make donation more convenient and less costly for kidney donors who live a long distance from their friend or family member who needs a kidney transplant, ultimately making kidney donation and live donor kidney transplantation a reality for many.”

“The National Kidney Registry is committed to improving the kidney donation process. As a kidney donor myself, I have great respect and admiration for others who step forward to donate a kidney and want to ensure we make the process as easy as possible for all donors,” said Garet Hil, Founder and CEO of the National Kidney Registry.