St. David’s North Austin Medical Center receives first living kidney donor in the U.S. through new Donate Life America registry

AUSTIN, Texas—Today, Donate Life America and the Kidney Transplant Center at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center announced the first living kidney donor through the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry. Donate Life America’s new program allows individuals ages 18-65 who registered as a deceased donor through the National Donate Life Registry to also register their interest in becoming a living kidney donor. While the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry, made possible by a generous grant from the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation, is currently only available in Texas during this initial pilot phase, Donate Life America has future plans to launch the program nationwide.

The Living Donor Registry’s first living kidney donor, Camden Underwood, underwent a successful surgery performed by Koushik Shaw, M.D., on July 12, 2022, at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. Underwood was a non-directed living donor, which means his kidney was given anonymously to an individual who was on the list for a kidney transplant.

“We are proud to work with Donate Life America to make living kidney donation more accessible,” Jacqueline Lappin, M.D., surgical director of the Kidney Transplant Center at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, said. “A living donor kidney is the gold standard of kidney transplants. A living donor kidney is lifesaving. It is a lower risk procedure compared to a deceased donor transplant since the living donor kidney is more likely to be successful in the recipient. This new registry will help increase the availability of kidneys with more life-giving quality for patients who need one.”

Prior to this registry, individuals interested in living kidney donation had to choose a kidney transplant center, research how to contact them directly, and arrange to have an initial medical screening. With the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry, anyone can check their initial eligibility, see a list of living donor kidney programs, and register their interest in living kidney donation. The transplant programs then receive a notification and contact the living donor candidate.

“Donate Life America’s goal is to bring donation opportunities directly to people in their everyday life. Offering the living kidney donation option to individuals who were already making the lifesaving decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org, seemed the clear path to build on generosity,” David Fleming, president and CEO of Donate Life America, said. “This path will help walk people through the process, easily connecting them with transplant programs, and reducing access barriers for potential living donors.”

The National Donate Life Living Donor Registry was made possible with support from Donate Life America partners: Fresenius Medical Care Foundation, United Network for Organ Sharing, LifeLogics, The National Kidney Foundation, and CareDx.

To learn more about Donate Life America and living donation, visit DonateLife.net. To register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit RegisterMe.org or go to your iPhone Health App.

More information about the Kidney Transplant Center at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center can be found at stdavids.com.

 

Donate Life America

Donate Life America (DLA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization leading its national partners and Donate Life State Teams to increase the number of donated organs, eyes and tissues available to save and heal lives. DLA owns, manages and promotes Donate Life℠, the national logo and brand for the cause of donation; motivates the public to register as organ, eye and tissue donors; provides education about living donation; owns and manages the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org, and the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry; and develops and executes effective multi-media campaigns to promote donation.

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, which is part of St. David’s HealthCare, is a 472-bed multi-specialty, acute care facility dedicated to the highest level of women’s health services, including maternity and newborn care with Level I, II and III nurseries at the adjacent St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas and minimally invasive gynecological surgery at Texas Robotic Surgery for Women. The facility also features a 24-hour emergency department, the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, bariatric surgery, Heart and Vascular Center, neurology and neurosurgery, a kidney transplant program, inpatient and outpatient surgery, and acute inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, among many others. St. David’s North Austin Medical Center is also home to St. David’s Children’s HospitalSt. David’s Surgical Hospital, which opened in October 2016, is a campus of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.