Takeaways from Dr. Turgeon’s “Kidney Swaps and Emory’s Paired Donor Exchange Program” Live Chat

Thank you to everyone who joined us during Donate Life Month for the live web chat hosted by Emory Transplant Center transplant surgeon, Dr. Nicole Turgeon. Dr. Turgeon discussed the different kinds of living organ donation, the process for living donation and even shared an inspiring video of one of her patients who had benefitted from Emory’s Paired Donor Exchange Program. Chat participants also had questions about islet cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes, which Dr. Turgeon answered with some great information on the 10th anniversary of two of our patient’s islet cell transplants and being diabetes free! Perhaps the most important message from Dr. Turgeon was one of the importance of organ donation and how it can make such a huge difference in people’s lives. For more information on how to become an organ donor, visit donatelife.net. Check out more of Dr. Turgeon’s answers by reading the chat transcript!

Below are just a few of the questions and answers from the Emory Transplant Center’s live chat:

Question: How many kidney transplants do you perform at Emory every year?

turgeon-nicoleDr. Turgeon: We usually average between 200-250 per year, and we’ve performed 3,722 total kidney transplants since 1988. For specific details, visit http://www.unos.org/ for data about the Emory Transplant Center.



Question: Does the paired donor exchange program allow people to bypass the transplant waiting list?

turgeon-nicoleDr. Turgeon: Great question. The paired exchange program is another opportunity to receive a living donor kidney. Here at Emory, we place all patients on the deceased donor waiting list in the event that a potential donor doesn’t work out. The two options for living donation are 1.) direct donation from your intended recipient and 2.) paired donor exchange if you and your recipient do not match.


 How do I know if I can be a donor? What kind of testing do you do? Can I stay anonymous?

turgeon-nicoleDr. Turgeon: Generally, donors are healthy people who don’t have major medical problems like diabetes, cancer, etc. We encourage all potential donors to call the 1-855-EmoryTX line and ask for the living donor team. We first do a screening interview. If you meet the requirements, you may then begin evaluation testing. Once evaluation testing is complete, a multidisciplinary team will meet and determine if you are a candidate to be a donor.


If you missed this informative chat with Dr. Turgeon, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript.

If you have any questions for the doctor, do not hesitate to leave a comment in our comments area below.

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