SAN FRANCISCO, California - Five transplant recipients have new kidneys after what is being called the largest-kidney exchange at a single hospital.
Five healthy donors gave one kidney each to five recipients at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
The procedures, sort of like an organ donation swap meet, are called "paired donations."
Patients who need kidneys bring loved ones who want to donate, but can't because of compatibility issues.
The willing donors are matched with strangers who are compatible, the patients receive kidneys, and their loved ones are still able to donate.
"it's a rare opportunity, you know; I mean, you live your life, you got two kidneys and you don't need them both," says kidney donor Alan Langstraat.
For these "paired donations," doctors use a sophisticated computer tissue-matching program in order to create the donor chain.