Blue Cross honors Mayo's kidney donor program

Dr. Mikel Prieto

An innovative Mayo Clinic program that pairs kidney donors with needy transplant patients was recognized Tuesday by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota's new Trailblazing Tour.

It was one of 11 programs honored for its creative and forward-thinking methods, according to Blue Cross.

The thought process behind Mayo's new donor program is simple, but it has drawn high praise while being hailed as revolutionary.

Though friends and family often are willing to donate a kidney to loved ones in need, many aren't deemed a worthy match. Mayo has tapped into those feelings to create new matches that pairs willing donors with other patients who might otherwise wait years for a new kidney while on dialysis. The so-called donor chain opens the door to many more matches being found, greatly reducing the wait time that otherwise can take years and improving life expectancy.

It's been so successful that about 75 percent of kidney transplants done at Mayo's Rochester campus are coming from living donors, more than doubling the national average. Organs from live donors tend to lead to better outcomes with a chance of rejection near zero, according to Mayo Clinic. Continue reading
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