A hospital in the UAE capital is now considering expanding its unique paired kidney donation program to the United States to provide additional opportunities to facilitate life-saving transplants and increase the number of organs available to UAE citizens and residents
File photo for illustration purposes
Three lives have been saved after specialists in Abu Dhabi successfully performed a rare procedure to swap three kidneys in a simultaneous transplant.
This is made possible by Abu Dhabi’s Matched Kidney Donation Program with support from the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD).
The program works with leading hospitals, such as CCAD, to match transplant recipients with compatible living donors. The CCAD Center has performed a total of 379 transplants since its establishment in 2017, most of which were kidney transplants.
In this groundbreaking triple kidney transplant, three patients received life-saving organs. But why is it necessary to exchange these donated organs in some cases?
“When patients need transplants, potential donors may agree to donate their organs, but sometimes tests show the kidneys are not medically acceptable,” said Dr. Bashir Sankari, chair of the Institute of Urology at CCAD’s Specialty Institute of Surgery.
“For example, a brother may want to donate one of his kidneys to his sick sister, but is found to be incompatible due to factors such as blood type or genetic differences, or due to the presence of antibodies. Alternatively, a husband may want to donate to his wife Kidneys, but were unable to donate due to similar circumstances,” said Dr Sankari, explaining the process of matching donors and exchanging organs under the programme.
“In this case, the solution might be to test whether these unrelated individuals are a match. By doing so, each pair can receive a compatible kidney and undergo a successful transplant. Collaboration between unrelated individuals in this landmark procedure saved three lives,” said Dr Sankari.
CCAD successfully performed three simultaneous transplants in partnership with another local hospital, cementing the country’s reputation as a preferred healthcare destination for patients in the region seeking compatible donors and opportunities to combat kidney failure. A paired kidney donation program can also shorten donor waiting lists and ensure better outcomes.
The initiative operates under the National Human Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Program (“Hayat”) and is supported by healthcare authorities and organizations such as the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Abu Dhabi Health Services Corporation.
CCAD is now exploring the expansion of the program to the Cleveland Clinic in the US, which will unlock further opportunities to provide life-saving solutions for kidney disease patients and increase the number of organs available to benefit UAE citizens and residents.
“It is critical that people understand the importance of organ donation and choose to be a donor, whether that organ saves the life of their family, friend or an unrelated individual. Many patients stay on the transplant waiting list for too long long, putting their lives at risk. Projects such as paired kidney donations highlight the collaborative efforts of partnerships within the UAE healthcare ecosystem, which ensures that every patient receives world-class care at the right time,” Sankari Dr. added.