An altruistic donor in Minneapolis triggers a series of five transplants in two states

[Pioneer Press, July 23, 2010] Hospitals in the Twin Cities and Fargo, N.D., reported Thursday an unusual series of five kidney transplant surgeries that shows just how far doctors are going to stretch the limited supply of organ donors.

The so-called "kidney chain" got started this month with an altruistic donor in Minneapolis who donated an organ with no particular recipient in mind.

Starting with that kidney, doctors orchestrated four other donation surgeries involving people who were prepared to give kidneys to loved ones but couldn't do so directly for medical reasons. In a kidney chain, a donor agrees to give an organ to a stranger so the intended recipients can get a compatible kidney from someone else in the chain.

The first surgery took place July 13 at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, and the ensuing chain spanned two operations at Sanford Health Medical Center in Fargo, four at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and three more back at the U.


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