Finding a way to keep donor kidneys longer in order to ship to matched patients

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We wanted to have successful transplants. In order to get there, there’s many things that we had to solve. One of the interesting projects was to figure out how to keep a kidney so that it could be shipped to the matched patient. See, we saw that in Los Angeles, even with this large population, oftentimes when we have a kidney from a donor, it wouldn’t match anybody in Los Angeles. So we knew from that time, that throughout the United States, we had to have a system of shipping kidneys. And that’s the reason why I spent a lot of effort trying to make a solution that we could put into the donor kidneys and have the donor kidneys survive for a long time—at least two days. This was our objective. So once we got that kind of a solution, it became possible to ship kidneys from one city to another. And today, as many as more than 10,000 kidneys have been shipped in the United States to matched patients.

Date: February 10, 2004
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Gwenn M. Jensen
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

doctors medicine

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