Transplant Team Receives National Award

MINNEAPOLIS- June, 29, 2018- The National Kidney Registry has awarded its 2018 “Excellence in Teamwork” Award to the University of Minnesota Medical Center for demonstrating excellence in teamwork for a complex kidney swap. The hospital is one of ten member centers to receive this award.

Together, these centers completed one of the most challenging swaps during the past year which involved 18 surgeries and multiple chain repairs, resulting in nine life-saving transplants.

“By donating one kidney, a donor can make transplant a reality for one or more people,” says University of Minnesota Health Transplant Surgeon Ty Dunn, MD, the Medical School’s Surgical Director of the Adult Kidney Transplant Program and Living Donor Kidney Program.

Participation in a paired exchange program allows a transplant candidate with a willing yet incompatible donor to match up with other people in the same situation. After a match is found, the surgeries can be scheduled so that participants can be transplanted, usually on the same day. Paired kidney exchanges can also be started by altruistic donors—those giving without an intended recipient—to create “chains” between transplant centers across the nation, such as the exchange involved in this situation.

“Paired exchange is fast paced, hard work that is emotional for all involved but we all take great pleasure in seeing many lives saved by our collective tenacity,” said Joe Sinacore, Director of Education and Development at the National Kidney Registry.

The University of Minnesota Medical School has a long history of leadership in kidney transplant, has performed more than 9,000 kidney transplants, and was first in the country to implement a protocol to allow evaluation of potential altruistic donors. The nephrology program is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

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