Neighborhood Health Watch: paired exchange program - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Neighborhood Health Watch: paired exchange program

The search for a new kidney can be a long and difficult process for patients in need. Sometimes these patients think they have found a donor only to find out that donor is not a match. But there is a way to connect willing donors with the right matches.

Dr. Gerardo Mendez-Picon is the Director of Transplant at Henrico Doctors' Hospital. He has been able to help his patients by making them a part of the paired exchange program. In this program donors from any part of the country can be connected; closing a gap and saving lives.

As Dr. Mendez-Picon explains, the process is relatively easy and is becoming more successful.

"Actually, it is not difficult because over the last 5 or 10 years more people have put patients in the program, increasing the pool and we are able to transplant patients that otherwise would be impossible to do."

According to Dr. Mendez-Picon, donors for patients in Virginia have come from as far away as California. The more donors who join the program the more effective the process becomes.

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