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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


USA Today: Allegheny General part of multistate kidney exchange

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

By Jill Daly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
After participating in one of the largest multistate paired kidney exchanges in the nation, three patients at Allegheny General Hospital are now recovering from their Feb. 3 surgeries, according to a statement from the hospital released this morning. Twelve donors and 12 recipients with advanced renal disease are part of the chain of kidney exchanges.

Allegheny General was one of nine U.S. transplant centers to participate. Paired kidney exchanges have become a way for transplant candidates to receive a kidney, even if their willing living donor is not a good match for donating to them. An organized exchange network matches this kind of donor-recipient pair with another incompatible pair, so each person can receive or donate a compatible kidney. The number of pairs matched with other pairs has been growing in recent years. Multiple pairs can now be matched with divided pairs in a chain starting and ending with an altruistic kidney donation.

Organized by the National Kidney Registry and coordinated locally by the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, the recent 12-pair exchange also involved UCLA Medical Center, the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, the University of Maryland, Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey, Utah Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center in New York, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in New Jersey and Henrico Doctors' Hospital in Virginia.

Three procedures in the kidney exchange took place at Allegheny General Feb. 3. The participants included kidney recipients Denise Fowkes, 41, of Export and Kimberly Wagner, 43, of Glenshaw, and kidney donor Corey Joiner, also of Export. Mr. Joiner, who is the boyfriend of Ms. Fowkes, donated his kidney to Ms. Wagner. Ms. Fowkes received her kidney from donor Doni Epstein, 42, of New York.

Ms. Epstein's kidney was removed at Saint Barnabas Medical Center and her kidney was flown to Pittsburgh. Ms. Epstein's aunt received a kidney from donor in California, part of the chain.

A friend of Ms. Wagner in Maryland donated her kidney to another recipient in the chain. Her friend's kidney retrieval procedure took place at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

All of the patients are doing exceptionally well, said Ngoc Thai, director of Allegheny General's Center for Abdominal Transplantation.

"We are thrilled and honored to have participated in a paired kidney exchange of this magnitude," Dr. Thai said in this morning's announcement.


To read more, visit the USA Today website.

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