Kidney Transplant Breakthrough Saves Lives

Prof. Eytan Mor, Director, Department of Organ Transplantation

Kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs in the US and in Israel, but there is still a huge shortage of available organs. This has been made worse by the need to match the blood type of the recipient to the blood type of the donor, forcing many people remain on dialysis for years before receiving a life-saving kidney. However, thanks to an innovative new technique that primes the recipient's immune system to accept an organ with a mismatched blood type, this will no longer be a problem. This new life-saving procedure will significantly expand the potential kidney donor pool for people everywhere who are desperately in need of a transplant.

Thanks to Professor Eytan Mor, Director of the Transplant Department at Israel's Rabin Medical Center, this new technique rescued 19-year-old Ortal. Almost two years ago, the routine physical examination required to join the Army found that Ortal was suffering from kidney failure. She was put on dialysis immediately, but several months ago her condition suddenly and severely deteriorated. She now desperately needed a kidney transplant, but no matching kidney was available for her relatively rare type O blood. Her father, whose blood is type A, was ready and willing to save his daughter by volunteering one of his two kidneys, but it could only be transplanted using his new technique. This was the first such kidney transplant performed in Israel and it literally saved Ortal's life.

Prof. Eytan Mor, a distinguished expert in organ transplants explains:

Implanting a kidney using this new technique allows us to significantly expand the number of organ transplants in Israel. Experience has taught us that through such innovative treatments wherein we monitor the level of antibodies in the blood around the implantation period, such transplants can be achieved. The successful result of this transplant will pave the road for similar transplants and will truly save lives.

Rabin Medical Center performs over 70% of all kidney transplants in Israel and is considered a leader in the field of organ transplantation.

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