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Pilot transplant project aims to spur kidney swaps

Too often, would-be kidney donors are wasted because the friend or loved one they want to help isn't a match. Now a new national database promises to help find matches for those frustrated pairs so they can be part of so-called kidney exchanges and cut the wait for a transplant.

If the long-awaited pilot project by the United Network for Organ Sharing pans out, specialists predict it eventually could result in an extra 2,000 to 3,000 transplants a year through "kidney paired donation," where someone donates a kidney on a patient's behalf so they can receive a compatible organ from someone else in return.

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