A transplant surgeon who completed an unprecedented eight-way kidney swap this week said he believes such intricate, multistate exchanges can drastically reduce the number of patients waiting for eligible donors.
Robert Montgomery, chief transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, and doctors at four hospitals in four states transplanted eight kidneys over three weeks in what he called the largest chain of donations in history.
“We finally beat the ‘Grey's Anatomy’ record for domino transplants,” Montgomery joked at a news conference hours after the last in a series of surgeries was completed Monday night. “We hope this creates a movement that encourages other transplant centers to adopt the model we used.”
The donor pool in the U.S. could facilitate 1,500 transplants per year if transplant centers nationwide participated in computer modeling that matches donors with recipients, Montgomery said.