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A living donor kidney exchange program has been launched by the New York Organ Donor Network. It follows in the footsteps of similar programs in some U.S. and European transplant centers.
Called a paired exchange, these living donor programs are an innovative way to match a recipient with an unrelated but compatible living donor. In a typical scenario, a patient's wife wants to donate a kidney to her husband but can't because she's not biologically compatible. A kidney donor exchange program matches this couple with another pair of people with the same problem. The prospective donor in the second pair is a match for the patient, and the prospective recipient in the second pair is a match with the patient's wife. These programs make the most of the pool of willing living donors.
For more information about the program, visit its Web site at http://www.donatelifeny.org. For more about similar programs, visit the United Network for Organ Sharing Web site at http://www.transplantliving.org/livingdonation/types/pairedexchange.aspx.
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