What is KPD?

Kidney Paired Donation

Through a Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) program, donors incompatible with their recipients can still help their loved ones get a live donor kidney by matching with another incompatible pair.

Not just anyone can donate a kidney to anyone else. Not only does the donor have to be willing and healthy, but the donor must be of a compatible blood-type (ABO) with the recipient, and a crossmatch (XM) between the donor and recipient must be negative.

Often a close friend, spouse, or family member will want to donate. Unfortunately that person may not be a compatible donor. But what if there is another donor/recipient pair somewhere such that:

This is the basic idea behind Kidney Paired Donation, or KPD (previously known as Paired Kidney Exchange or Kidney Swap). Instead of waiting, possibly for years, for a compatible kidney to become available through the deceased donor waiting list, donor/recipient pairs are matched based on their compatibilities with one another. When a match is found, both transplants may be performed.

KPD is already taking place at a few hospitals around the country, such as Johns Hopkins. Its early success is helping it rapidly gain popularity.

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