Surgery Success Heralds Implementation of Kidney Exchange Program
Successful surgery for three kidney recipients late last year has heralded the welcome implementation of the new Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX) program.
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02 February 2011
Successful surgery for three kidney recipients late last year has heralded the welcome implementation of the new Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX) program, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, said today.
Ms King said all three kidney recipients, who just celebrated their second month with a well functioning transplant, have continued to make progress and are doing extremely well.
“Their very generous living donors are also doing well and no complications relating to surgery have been reported” Ms King said.
The AKX has been established under a four year program from 2008-09 to 2010-11 funded with $820,000 from the Australian Government’ national reform package – A World’s Best Practice Approach to Organ and Tissue Donation for Transplantation.
It is funded through the Organ and Tissue Donation Authority. The authority worked closely with Professor Paolo Ferrari, director of the National Kidney Exchange Coordination Centre in Fremantle Hospital, Western Australia, together with all states and territories on the development and implementation of the program.
Ms King said the lack of compatibility that has been a barrier in the past has now been solved due to the implementation of the AKX program, allowing for a broader pool from which to seek an appropriate match.
“The successful and timely implementation of the AKX Program compares favourably to similar countries that have taken three years to implement paired kidney exchange programs,” Ms King said.
“Approximately 30% of potential donors fail to fulfill their wish to donate a kidney to a relative or friend due to incompatible blood group or tissue matches.
“AKX matches an incompatible donor/recipient pair with another incompatible donor/recipient pair. Match runs occur on a quarterly basis.”
Strict privacy and confidentiality is maintained for each donor/recipient pair.
The first donor match of 23 donor/recipient pairs took place last October and identified a compatible three-way exchange. If no match is found, enrolled recipient/donor pairs are kept on the register and are included in further match runs.
Ms King acknowledged the generosity of those who have donated to their immediate loved ones prior to the availability of the AKX program.
She also praised the continuing generosity of donor/recipient pairs and the important work done by the AKX Program National Coordination Centre, led by Prof Ferrari.
“I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of participating transplant centres, tissue typing laboratories, donor and transplant surgeons, transplant coordinators, organ transplant teams and participating hospitals,” Ms King said.
Further information on the program is available at the DonateLife website: www.donatelife.gov.au
Parliamentary Secretary's Office on (02) 6277 4230
Terry Oliver - Donatelife (02) 6198 9890, 0421 053 648
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