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Media Advisory: ‘Living Donor Chain’ event set for 9:30 a.m. Monday at CAMC General Hospital

WV Press Release Sharing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — CAMC has issued the following media advisory:

It’s called a Living Donor Chain, but for the three recipients, it’s called life.

In August, CAMC completed the first living donor chain in West Virginia at the CAMC Kidney Transplant Center.

The chain started when three living donors were determined to be medically suitable but unable to donate to their intended recipients (family member).

That’s when staff at the CAMC Kidney Transplant Center got to work to look for other possible matches. In cross matching medical information, they found three donors who matched with unrelated patients on the waiting list.

Media members can meet the donors, recipients and CAMC staff who made the transplant chain possible on Monday, Sept. 18, at 9:30 a.m. at CAMC General Hospital (501 Morris St.)

Editors should instruct reporters photographers covering this event should meet Dale Witte, Vandalis Health public relations specialist, in the lobby of CAMC General Hospital, 501 St. Witte can also secure convenient parking for those who RSVP at [email protected]

The chain starts with an altruistic donor – someone who wants to donate a kidney out of the goodness of their heart to a friend or family member but was not a good match. That kidney is instead transplanted into another recipient who had a willing donor but was not suitable. To keep the chain going that donor gives a kidney to an unknown patient.

The chain continues with non-directed donors (someone who offers to donate a kidney without a designated recipient), donating their kidney to someone in need of a transplant.

“This significant because it allowed the patients to receive the benefit of a living donor kidney (best option) and it took three people off the waiting list,” said Susan Hanna BSN, RN, CCTC, Lead Transplant/Living Donor Coordinator. “In a paired transplant chain, a donation like this can set off a series in which family or friends of recipients give a kidney to another person in need — essentially paying donations forward on behalf of a loved one.

Kidney transplant requires a huge team of our surgeons, lab technicians, operating room team, nurses and staff.

The CAMC Kidney Transplant Center has been a leader in transplantation in West Virginia since 1987, performing nearly 1,800 kidney transplants in Charleston over 35 years, including 94 transplants so far this year.

Earlier this year, a study by the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients ranked the CAMC Kidney Transplant Center as second in the country for the time it takes for patients to be transplanted once they’ve been put on the transplant waitlist.

Patients at CAMC can receive a transplant within six to eight months, whereas the national average is anywhere between five to seven years. The longer patients are on dialysis, the more it increases their risk for heart complications and mortality. Cutting dialysis short and receiving a transplant sooner helps mitigate these risk factors and allows patients to start living new, improved lives.

For more information about the CAMC Kidney Transplant Center, visit camc.org/Kidney.

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