Thursday, April 10, 2008

yay! kidneys!

Johns Hopkins surgeons transplanted a half-dozen kidneys simultaneously, an operation believed to be the first of its kind, hospital officials announced Tuesday.
So what was so special?
The transplants conducted Saturday were made possible when a so-called altruistic donor, who was willing to donate to anyone, was found to be a match for one of six transplant candidates. Five of the candidates had a willing donor whose kidney was incompatible with their particular friend or relative, but a match for another of the six.
Oh wow.
What are the odds?
The 10-hour surgeries used six operating rooms and nine surgical teams.
Well, I would guess that each patient had their own room.
But it could have gone quicker if they paired up the patients...
But I know that they wouldn't do that.
"All 12 are doing great, the six kidneys are working well," said Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of Hopkins' transplant center and head of the transplant team.
Just in case you don't understand the whole "12 person" thing,
there were six patients and six donors.
I am saying this because it took me a sec to get it.
The six-way transplant follows a quintuple transplant performed in 2006 at the hospital and several triple transplants. Last week, doctors at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital performed simultaneous transplants of four kidneys.
So are they aiming for a record or something?
Most kidney transplants use organs taken from people who have died, but doctors prefer organs from live donors because the success rates are higher. The donors and recipients in the six-way transplant were matched using a living-donor system developed at Johns Hopkins.
Um...I kinda thought that it would be easier if the donors were alive.
Instead of dead donors.
It seemed kinda obvious to me...
Montgomery said the surgeries are performed simultaneously to ensure no one backs out after their loved one has received a kidney.
Okay. Whatever.
Montgomery has advocated a wider system of connecting altruistic donors, transplant candidates and incompatible but willing donors to increase the number of available organs.
Thats all good.
But what if nobody needs those organs?
Ms. Lovett's meatpies! (you wouldn't get it if you haven't seen Sweeny Todd)
Randy Bolten, whose brother is President Bush's chief of staff, Josh Bolten, was among the donors. He couldn't donate a kidney to his wife, Jeanne Heise, but he was a match for another recipient.
Thats good.
So is he special because his brother is Bush's chief of staff?
Who would be proud of that?
Bush is the worst leader of the United States in a long time.
He has destroyed the economy and society has gotten worse and worse each year.
That is another rant that will come soon.
Heise, who has suffered from kidney disease for more than 30 years, was about to go on dialysis when the chain of transplants became possible.
Yeah. Dialysis would really stink.
Who would want that?
"We want to spread the word about this sort of group surgery and living organ donation," Heise said in a statement issued by the National Kidney Foundation of Northern California.
Sounds like he just wants to get his name put on the good list.
I don't think that he really cares all that much.
"The waiting list for a kidney is very long and too many people die while waiting. With this group procedure, more and more people can beat kidney disease and live long productive lives."
Yes. If the doctors work fast enough.
Because body tissues are only good for so long after being romoved.
Yeah, believe it or not.
The United Network for Organ Sharing knows of no other six-way transplant, spokeswoman Amanda Claggett said. She added that so-called paired donations are still very rare.
Okay. Thats great.
So why is this so important?
More than 252,000 kidney transplants have been performed in the United States since UNOS started keeping data in 1988; 87,000 of the kidneys came from living donors. There have been only 301 transplants performed through so-called paired kidney exchange, including 122 in 2007, Claggett said.
Oh wow. Only 301. I am so disappointed.
I hope i never have to deal with this stuff.
She said more than 75,000 people are waiting for kidney transplants and 4,352 died while waiting for a kidney last year.
Another reason to keep your system clean!
Otherwise, you could be the next one to join those over 4,352 people.

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