Yale New Haven Hospital announces 18-patient, paired kidney transplant exchange

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Largest ever in the state of Connecticut

New Haven, CT(July 27, 2017) – Yale New Haven Transplantation Center (YNHTC) recently completed one of the largest kidney chain exchanges for one center ever in the United States, matching nine donors for nine recipients in a series of connected and successful surgical procedures that began May 9 and concluded June 21. All donors and recipients are doing well. Of the 18 patients, 14 are from Connecticut, with two from New York and one each from New Hampshire and Florida.

”Many of these kidney transplants were quite complex and beyond the level of risk often taken by many transplant centers,” said David Mulligan, MD, director, Yale New Haven Transplantation Center and professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine. “Not only has it truly been a miracle for YNHTC to bring all these amazing pairs together, but it is also an example of the fantastic multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, dietitians, tissue typing lab, and OR staff that made each donor and recipient come through with flying colors.”

The complex set of surgeries for the 18 connected patients began on May 9 when an altruistic donor Robin Gilmartin of West Hartford donated a kidney to Patricia Villers of Ansonia. Later that day, Laconia, NH resident Suzanne Watson successfully donated to William Greenwood of Bethel. The following day, William’s wife, Devon Greenwood, who was not compatible to donate to her husband, donated her kidney to Elly Borth from New Milford.

“Extensive kidney exchanges connect previously unknown individuals from different communities across CT,” said Sanjay Kulkarni, MD, medical director, Center for Living Organ Donors. “At the Center for Living Organ Donors, we aim to foster the development of these networks so we can stay connected with our population and be central in improving the overall health of our communities.”

The surgeries resumed on Monday, June 19, with Dover Plains, NY resident Jeff Kilson donating to Nancy Crighton of Prospect. Later that day, Richard Ewing of Tequesta, FL successfully donated his kidney to Old Lyme’s Randy Smith.

On June 20, two more successful procedures took place with Laura Miller of Old Lyme donating to Janet Labati of Sandy Hook. Janet’s husband James, who was not compatible to donate to his wife, successfully donated to Helena Bradly of New Haven. One of the largest kidney chain swaps in the United States and largest ever in Connecticut concluded on Wednesday, June 21 when Precious Chiles, the sister of Ms. Bradly but incompatible, donated to Cheryl Murphy of Bridgeport. The final procedure saw Cheryl’s son, Cory Murphy, also from Bridgeport, who was not a match for his mom, donate his kidney to Michael Murphy (no relation) of New York, NY.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 percent of American adults – about 20 million people – have chronic kidney disease with 600,000 on dialysis and 100,000 currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Yet only 16,000 transplants are done each year. There are currently 121,678 people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants in the U.S. Of these, 100,791 await kidney transplants. The median wait time for an individual’s first kidney transplant is 3.6 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility and availability of organs. On average, over 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month – which works out to one every 14 minutes.

Yale New Haven Hospital is a nationally recognized, 1,541-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale School of Medicine. Yale New Haven was founded as the fourth voluntary hospital in the U.S. in 1826. Today, the hospital's two New Haven-based inpatient campuses include Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital. YNHH has a combined medical staff of about 4,500 university and community physicians practicing in more than 100 specialties. YNHH's York Street campus and associated ambulatory sites are Magnet-designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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