In what's believed to be the largest chain of organ donations in history, U.S. doctors at four hospitals in four states completed eight kidney transplants over three weeks.
For this kidney swap, 10 doctors performed 16 surgeries on eight living donors and eight recipients at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and INTEGRIS Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma, the Associated Press reported.
This type of kidney transplant chain is arranged when a number of people who need transplants have relatives or friends who are willing to donate kidneys but aren't compatible. Each donor in the chain is matched with a compatible recipient they don't know.
The kind of multistate exchange performed in recent weeks could greatly reduce the number of kidney patients waiting for eligible donors, said Dr. Robert Montgomery, chief transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
"We hope this creates a movement that encourages other transplant centers to adopt the model we used," he said at a news conference held a few hours after the last transplant was performed Monday night, the AP reported.