Lourdes Performs Region’s First Successful “Double Swap” Kidney Transplant
Monday, October 5, 2009
CAMDEN, N.J. -- On Wednesday, Sept. 30 the transplant team at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center performed the first successful "paired exchange" or "double swap" kidney transplant in the Philadelphia and southern New Jersey region, announced hospital CEO Mark Bateman.
The procedure involved Williamstown, NJ couple, Tamira and Carlos Ferrer, and another incompatible pair from the New York City area. Tamira suffered from chronic kidney disease and required ongoing dialysis prior to the transplant. Her husband, a willing donor, was tested and found to be incompatible.
Upon learning of their incompatibility, the transplant coordinators at Lourdes suggested the family register with one of several paired exchange donor registries. By Carlos' willingness to donate a kidney to a stranger, he increased the chances of his wife finding a suitable living donor as well.
"Paired kidney exchange" offers new life-saving options to those seeking a kidney transplant, but whose potential living donor is not a good biological match due to either blood type or cross-match incompatibility. This option allows incompatible donors to help their loved ones to receive a living donor kidney by matching one incompatible donor/recipient pair with another incompatible pair.
When a match was found, coordinators at both transplant hospitals (Lourdes and a hospital in New York) worked together to schedule the organ harvesting and transplant surgeries, which took place simultaneously in different locations. Once the healthy organs were removed from the donors, they were packed and transported by vehicle to their hospital destinations to be transplanted into the waiting recipients (essentially passing each other in transit at some point). Both couples are doing well and recovering as expected.
Pictured: Dr. Stephen Guy, Transplant Surgeon, explains the "paired exchange" procedure as organ donor Carlos Ferrer and his wife, Tamira, transplant recipient, and members of the medical team, transplant coordinator Donna Collins and Maria Robinson, and Dr. Ari Chakravarty, nephrologist, look on.