NEW DELHI: Avinash Yadav (45) has been on dialysis since 2020 and had to undergo the procedure three times a week. He suffered from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). His wife was ready to donate her kidney but could not do so due to blood group incompatibility.
Call it his good fortune, that just as he was losing hope, the same hospital where Yadav was undergoing treatment admitted another patient having the same issue. It was a game of fate as the wives of both patients, however, were not able to donate their kidneys to their husbands. Their kidneys were, however, found to be a match for each other’s husbands. Avinash’s blood group matched Jagjeet Kaur (Sanjeev’s wife) while Sanjeev’s blood group matched that of Mamta Yadav (Avinash’s wife).
“I was registered for a cadaver donation. Opportunities came more than once but the first donor was rejected by my family and another one had a multi-organ failure,” said Yadav. “I prepared myself mentally that nothing could be done. Then news came that there is a chance for a kidney swap. Doctors said that there is a family who is looking for a donor with a blood group that matched my wife. And coincidentally, the family had a donor whose blood group matched with mine,” Yadav said.
On reaching the hospital, Yadav found that he knew the patient. “We knew each other for a long time. Sanjeev and I had gone together for dialysis many a time,” he recalled. “Now Sanjeev and I share a bond of blood,” said Yadav.
Dr Vikram Kalra, additional director and senior consultant, Nephrology & Renal Transplantation at Aakash Healthcare, who transplanted the kidneys, said that the procedure is known as Swap Kidney Transplant Surgery (SKTS).
“Our hospital maintains a registry of such patients whose blood groups do not match with the donor for transplant. When we get a match for the patient, our coordinator informs them about the same. Once the medical compatibility is ascertained, we arrange multiple meetings with the families, exchange donor reports, and crystalline the idea of swapping donor organs,” he said.
Speaking about the case, Kalra said, “We looked at the clinical health of both the patients and the donors. Then a government-approved proposal was given for a swap kidney transplant. After mutual agreement, we went ahead with the transplant surgery.”
Talking about the challenges, the doctor said that they performed surgery on both patients simultaneously.
“We had to start both the surgeries at the same time. It required increased manpower and infrastructure for both donations,” he said.