10 Spanish, 7 Italian and 2 Portuguese hospitals took part in the latest crossing of the International Renal Cross Transplant Programme with 133 donor-recipient pairs that had not achieved an exchange in their countries: 67 from Spain, 42 from Italy and 24 from Portugal.
Since the ONT internationalised this Programme, 16 patients incompatible with their potential donors have received a living donor transplant: 9 from Spain, 4 from Italy and 3 from Portugal.
Second international cross-over kidney transplant
Spain and Italy have recently carried out another successful kidney exchange within the International Renal Cross-Donor Programme, designed by the National Transplant Organisation (ONT). On this occasion, three patients have benefited from the cooperation between the two countries in the field of transplantation. Although this is the programme’s seventh international kidney exchange, it is the second time that it has taken place between three couples. The first took place in 2021.
Both the kidney extractions and the transplants were performed on the same day at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, the Hospital Universitario de Cruces in Bilbao and the Azienda Ospedale-Università in Padua. The surgeries started at different times to reduce the ischaemia time of the organs. The Italian hospital was the first to begin surgery, followed by Barcelona and then Bilbao. The organ was transferred by road from Padua to Milan airport at 11:00 am, escorted by the Italian police. The private plane that made all the journeys by air landed at Barcelona airport at 14:25. There it picked up the graft from the donor in Barcelona, whose recipient was the recipient in Bilbao, and flew to the Basque capital, where it landed at 15:50. The donor organ from the Bilbao hospital landed at 19:19 in Milan and from there it was transferred to Padua by road, again escorted by the Italian police. It arrived in Padua at 20:11 hours.
This whole complex procedure was coordinated throughout by the ONT in collaboration with the Italian Centro Nazionale Trapianti (CNT). Only 8 weeks elapsed from the time the ONT carried out the cross-matching between these three couples and the transplants, a much shorter period than in previous cross-matches, reflecting the improved synchronisation of the teams and organisations involved. All six operations were successful and all three donors and recipients are in perfect health.