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Kidney donors meet recipients via teleconference

By Catherine Wolf, KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

The doctors and patients involved in the largest living kidney transplant to date met by teleconference on Tuesday. Six donors and six recipients from hospitals in St. Louis, Oklahoma City and Baltimore were involved in the transplant. Kidneys were flown from donors to recipients.

Dr. Surendra Shenoy took part in the procedure at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He says donors and recipients can be hard to match because of tissue typing or blood grouping incompatibilities. He says pairing patients from several hospitals increases the chances of finding matches.

"So, in that situation if we are able to mix and match donors we'll be able to exchange the kidneys across the pairs who want to donate it, thereby increasing the number of transplants."

Shenoy says an additional benefit is that patients do not have to travel out of state to donate or receive a kidney.

A 52-year-old woman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital received a kidney from a donor in Oklahoma. Her son, who did want to be identified, says he hopes donating his kidney to a recipient in Baltimore will help set an example for others.

"I'm glad I helped somebody else out and they could help my mom out. Hopefully it will help spread the word. It's a lot better chances of, you know, more people getting a kidney, you know, the more people know they can do this with other cities."

Doctors hope the kidney exchange will become a model for hospitals to share organs between living donors.


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