International Kidney Exchange

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International Kidney Exchange

Post  Matt Dolph on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:20 pm

This article discusses potential ways to improve the kidney market in order to save more lives. As we discussed in class there is a great shortage of kidneys for transplant and people are always doing research to find more socially optimal ways of running this market to improve results. This article particularly addresses the idea of creating a joint market between the United States and Canada list that runs a cascading system to cause a trading pattern between those who need a kidney and have a relative donor who does not match on a pay it froward system. By crossing the board the odds of finding matches on this cascade is much higher and can allow for longer cascades to run thus allowing more people to receive kidneys.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5ipikjRywul5Oy90Na-g3nrzPtWTg

Matt Dolph

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Re: International Kidney Exchange

Post  Andrew Kessler on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:33 pm

I'd be interested to find out how strict the conditions have to be to match a kidney to a recipient. If right now they're using overly strict standards, they could probably increase their transplant frequency by slightly lowering their expectations. Once the the minimum (safe) standards for a kidney transplant can be established, and accepted internationally, programs like this will really have a tremendous impact.

Andrew Kessler

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Re: International Kidney Exchange

Post  Monil Gandhi on Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:23 pm

I think no matter what, the biggest concern with these kidney exchange programs not reaching enough people is that it is limited by the number of exchanges that can be done simultaneously. We learned in class that people won't be willing to donate kidneys if they know their partner already has one, so the kidneys must be transplanted simultaneously which is a problem due to the size of hospitals. However, if they are expanding the exchange program to work with other countries, I don't know why multiple hospitals can't be involved. For example, have 8 simultaneous surgeries happening in 2 hospitals nearby so that the kidneys can still be moved with relative ease. I don't know how long a kidney can survive outside one's body though. In general though, I feel like the simultaneous operations is the greatest limiting factor and not the stringency of the requirements or the number of willing donor/patient pairs.

Monil Gandhi

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