Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Longest Kidney Transplant Chain

We've spoken before about transplant chains. For those unfamiliar with the process, a friend or relative of patient A whose kidney is not a match for patient A offers their kidney to anyone else who has a friend or relative who is willing to donate to patient A, or someone else, until a chain is formed where patient A gets a kidney that is suitable.

Friend of A---> Patient B Friend of B---> Patient C Friend of C---> Patient D Friend of D---> Patient A

You get the picture? An altruistic transplant chain, not just one generous person giving to one person.

We've mentioned a long chain of about 8 patients once before and thought that was pretty cool (and pretty life saving too). But we've got news of something a bit bigger than that. A lot bigger than that!

A report here and several other news sites reports a chain of 21 transplants - yes, that's 21, not a typo! The University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital is celebrating America's longest kidney transplant chain. (Is it the longest in the world? I might check up on that, if I can work out how to.) All thanks to the transplant program at UAB and a team of more than 80 medical professionals.


Well, You will not believe it but there is a longer transplant chain that will just make you gasp - are you ready for this one? 30 - that's right, 30 transplants in a chain! Read it here!

Chain 124, as it was labeled by the nonprofit National Kidney Registry, required lock-step coordination over four months among 17 hospitals in 11 states. It was born of innovations in computer matching, surgical technique and organ shipping, as well as the determination of a Long Island businessman named Garet Hil, who was inspired by his own daughter’s illness to supercharge the notion of “paying it forward.”