A double-6 kidney "domino"
Six kidney patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital received new organs from six unrelated living donors Saturday in what the chief surgeon called...
BALTIMORE — Six kidney patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital received new organs from six unrelated living donors Saturday in what the chief surgeon called the nation's first six-way "domino" kidney swap.
"All 12 are doing great, the six kidneys are working well," said Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of Hopkins' transplant center and head of the transplant team.
The transplants were made possible when a so-called altruistic donor, who was willing to donate to anyone, was found to be a match for one of six transplant candidates. Five of the candidates had a willing donor whose kidney was incompatible with their particular friend or relative, but a match for another of the six.
The 13-hour surgeries used six operating rooms and nine surgical teams — about 100 medical personnel.
The six-way transplant follows a quintuple transplant performed in 2006 at the hospital and several triple transplants. Last week, doctors at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital transplanted four kidneys simultaneously.
Most kidney transplants use organs taken from people who have died, but doctors prefer organs from live donors because the success rates are higher. The donors and recipients in the six-way transplant were matched using a living-donor system developed at Johns Hopkins.
Randy Bolten, whose brother is President Bush's chief of staff, Josh Bolten, was among the donors. He couldn't donate a kidney to his wife, Jeanne Heise, but he was a match for another recipient.
More than 252,000 kidney transplants have been performed in the United States since record-keeping began in 1988; 87,000 of the kidneys came from living donors. More than 75,000 people are waiting for kidney transplants and 4,352 died while waiting for a kidney last year, said Amanda Claggett, spokeswoman for the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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