Paired Kidney Exchange

You may have a friend or blood relative willing to donate a kidney to you, but they are blood type or tissue type incompatible with you. Another transplant recipient may be in a similar situation with someone willing to donate a kidney to them but the kidney is incompatible.

In these situations a paired kidney exchange allows incompatible donors to help their loved ones or friends receive a live donor kidney by matching one incompatible donor/recipient pair with another incompatible pair. The donors then exchange a kidney with a recipient of the other pair with whom they are compatible.

Kidney pairingThe Paired Kidney Exchange Program allows living donors and their intended recipient to proceed with kidney transplantation. The Swedish Organ Transplant Program performed its first paired exchange in 2006. On average at least one paired exchange is performed every year at Swedish. To increase the chance that compatible recipient/donor pairs will be found, the Swedish Transplant Program has partners with other transplant centers in the state, joined the Ohio-based Alliance for Paired Donation (, and participates in the UNOS Paired Donation Pilot.

Expanding the Opportunities for Living Donation for our Patients

Both the Paired Kidney Donation Program and the Benevolent Community Donor Program are very active at the Swedish Organ Transplant Program. In June 2010, two living, unrelated kidney transplants took place completing a three way kidney transplant donor chain. The first transplant was initiated through the Benevolent Community Donor Program. An altruistic donor gave their kidney to a recipient in the Paired Kidney Donation Program. That recipient’s incompatible donor then gave their kidney to a recipient on the deceased donor waiting list.

If you would like more information about the Paired Kidney Donation opportunities as Swedish, please call 1-800-99ORGAN (1-800-996-7426).