Many individuals in need of a kidney transplant have family and friends who generously step forward in hopes of becoming a living donor. Unfortunately, some of these potential donors discover they are unsuitable because of blood type or tissue mismatch.
To increase the availability of living-donor kidneys for transplant, Barnes-Jewish Hospital offers innovative programs including living-donor paired kidney exchange.
Why Should I Participate in a Paired Kidney Exchange?
If you have friends or relatives who have agreed to donate, but are not a match for you, participation in this program by both of you increases your chances – and potentially decreases your wait – for a transplant.
This novel approach allows patients with kidney failure who have willing but unsuitable donors to exchange donor kidneys. The patients receive transplants and the donors give kidneys. The only difference is that the donor gives to a different person from whom he or she may have originally expected to donate.
An example would be a brother who wants to donate a kidney to his sister but is unable to because of a difference in blood type. If this recipient/donor pair agrees to participate in the paired kidney exchange program, an attempt would be made to match them with another recipient/donor in the same situation willing to "exchange" kidneys.
Barnes-Jewish not only participates in exchanges between patients on its own waiting list, but has performed exchanges with other leading transplant centers across the country, greatly widening the chances of finding matching living donors.
For additional information or to begin a kidney transplant evaluation, call