Hopkins convenes 'consensus' conference to develop blueprint for nationwide matching program

03/01/05

Special Note: A press event with the conference leaders will be held on Thursday, March 3, at noon central time, at the Marriott Downtown Chicago, 540 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60611.

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Kidney transplant experts from across the United States will convene here March 2 to March 5, 2005, to design a national paired kidney exchange program. Paired kidney exchanges provide organs to patients who have a willing, designated donor who is incompatible. A kidney from such a donor is matched to and transplanted into the recipient of a second donor-patient pair, and vice versa. The transplants are performed simultaneously.

"The shortage of donor kidneys for patients who need kidney transplantation is a national public health problem," says conference organizer Robert A. Montgomery, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of surgery and director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Johns Hopkins. "A national matching program for paired kidney exchange will save thousands of lives each year and drastically reduce the medical costs associated with kidney disease."

The goal of the conference is to develop consensus among experts about criteria, operational standards, ethical issues and coordination of a national program.

Several transplant professionals who pioneered paired kidney donation in the United States will lead the program, including Frank Delmonico of Harvard University, Lloyd Ratner of Columbia University, Michael Rees of Medical College of Ohio, and E. Steve Woodle of the University of Cincinnati.

Other attendees include surgeons, nephrologists, immunogeneticists, nurse coordinators, administrators, regulators, psychiatric professionals, social workers, and informatics and database experts. In addition, several donors and recipients who have participated in paired donation procedures in the United States will attend the conference. The conference was made possible through a financial contribution from a patient who benefited from a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins, Margery Pozefsky of Baltimore, Md.

For more information about the press event and conference, contact Trent Stockton at 410-955-8665, tstockt1@jhmi.edu.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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