Docs Pull Off 6-Kidney Swap

Johns Hopkins' 13-hour 'domino' session goes off without a hitch
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 1:23 PM CDT
Doctors perform a kidney transplant in this file photo.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(Newser) – In a procedure that took 13 hours and involved more than 100 medical personnel, Johns Hopkins Hospital pulled off the US' first six-way kidney transplant, the Baltimore Sun reports. Six donors provided six patients with working organs in Saturday's so-called "domino" procedure. All 12 were listed in good condition yesterday; some had even gone home.

Hopkins had once before managed a five-way swap, but one patient said she was still worried by the numbers involved. “If someone gets sick or has a change of heart, the whole process falls apart,” she worried. Such matched swaps are boons to the clogged transplant system. “It takes six people off the list,” said the chief of transplants surgery. (Read more kidney transplant stories.)