New data released by the National Kidney Registry has named Intermountain Health’s Transplant Services as the top Kidney for Life program in the United States for successfully matching kidney donors to patients in need of a life-saving kidney transplant.
The NKR Kidney for Life program is a national program that recognizes transplant centers for transplanting well-matched kidneys, using advanced high-resolution typing to allow for optimal matching of donors and recipients in the National Kidney Registry pool.
Intermountain Health’s kidney transplant program was the nation’s top program based on the percentage of living donor transplants with well-matched kidneys in the Kidney for Life program from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023.
“When a kidney is well matched, it should last longer with fewer complications, lower risk for rejection, and fewer side effects,” said Donald Morris, MD, Intermountain Health kidney transplant medical director. “This recognition is a testament to our team’s commitment to providing exceptional and long-term care to our kidney transplant recipients, including the ability for precision medicine.”
Living kidney donor transplants are the best option for kidney transplant recipients. According to Dr. Morris, that’s because living kidney donor recipients have been shown to have better long-term outcomes compared to deceased donor transplants.
“Even though this process takes additional time and patience, focusing on well matched living donor transplant should result in even better outcomes over the long term and lifetime of the recipient,” said Dr. Morris. “We do it for our patients and their loved ones who are looking for new leases on life.”
This year, Intermountain Health is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its kidney transplant program, which began in 1983 at Intermountain LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. The program then moved to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray in 2007.
Since 1983, the kidney transplant program has had 1,200 living donors and performed more than 3,000 kidney transplants.
At this time of giving during the holidays, Intermountain transplant experts are reminding everyone of the importance of organ donation.
“Becoming an organ donor is a selfless act that can save lives,” said Dr. Morris. “Every year, thousands of people die while waiting for an organ transplant. By signing up to become an organ donor, you can help save lives and make a difference in the world. It’s the ultimate gift.
For those interested in becoming a kidney donor, Intermountain Health can help guide a donor through the process. Intermountain’s team of experts can provide people interested with the information and resources needed to make an informed decision about kidney donation.
To learn more about organ donation or register to become an organ donor, go to Intermountainhealthcare.org/donatelife.
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