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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.

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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.