Ohio annouces first of its kind kidney exchange program

Last year, 761 Ohioans were on the kidney transplant list. Of that number, 133 died while waiting for a transplant. A group of Ohio doctors announced today a new registry to get kidneys to patients around the state.

The new living kidney exchange program aims to help people who need kidneys but thier organs are incompatible with family members or friends. They can register in the new program and be matched with unrelated kidney donors in similar situations across the state.

Doctors say the living donor kidney registry will remove people from waiting lists and save lives. Key to the registry is a computer program that matches donors and recipients with those across the state. The registry will match people based on age, blood type, travel distance and other factors.

Potential donors will also go through medical and psychological evaluations before being allowed to donate organs. Doctors say new medicical advances reduce the risks of organ rejection. Rees says recovery time for surgery is about 2 weeks.