For being part of the largest kidney transplant chain in the U.S., the University of Virginia Health System’s Transplant Center has received the 2015 National Kidney Registry Excellence in Teamwork Award.
UVA was one of 25 U.S. transplant centers honored for participating in a transplant chain, also known as a paired donor exchange that enabled 35 patients to receive a kidney transplant.
In a paired donor exchange, living kidney donors who wish to donate to a loved one – but aren’t matches for their loved one – are paired with a different patient in need of a transplant. This enables the donor’s loved one to become part of the paired exchange and increase the chances of finding a suitable kidney for that patient.
Living kidney donations also increase the chances for a successful transplant, usually have a longer functioning time and begin to function more quickly following the transplant.
“Over 100,000 Americans are waiting for kidney transplants, and paired donor exchanges are a great way to help more patients both here in Virginia and across the U.S. get the transplants they need,” said Anita Sites, RN, UVA’s living donor transplant coordinator.
UVA typically performs 80 to 100 kidney transplants per year as part of the care available at its comprehensive transplant center, which opened in 1967. UVA also performs heart, islet cell, liver, lung and pancreas transplants.