The UW Health Transplant Center performed 64 paired kidney exchanges in 2020, the most in the nation.
This accomplishment, achieved despite several COVID-19-related shutdowns, contributed to a record-breaking year for UW Health during which 548 patients received transplants.
Medical Director of the UW Health Transplant Center Dr. Dixon Kaufman said, “The fact that we were able to facilitate so many paired kidney exchanges, despite having to temporarily close our living donation program twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, speaks volumes about the commitment of this entire transplant team, particularly the surgical, medical and nursing leaders and their staff.”
Paired kidney exchange is a transplant option for patients with a friend or family member who is a willing but incompatible donor. The UW Health Transplant Center works through the nonprofit National Kidney Registry to arrange organ exchanges among donor/recipient pairs. In 2015, the Center was part of the longest kidney exchange “chain” ever, involving 35 donors and 35 recipients and featured on ABC News’ Nightline.