Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX)

What is the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange

The Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX) Program is a nationwide living kidney donor program. The aim of the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange is to increase live kidney donor transplants by identifying matches for incompatible donor/recipient pairs.

Approximately 30% of potential donors fail to fulfill their wish to donate a kidney to a relative or friend due to incompatible blood group or tissue matches. If you have a willing, but incompatible living donor, participation in the AKX Program will increase the chance that you will be able to receive a living donor kidney transplant. 

A paired kidney exchange can happen when a living donor (Donor #1), who is willing to donate to a spouse, friend or relative (Recipient #1), is unable to donate because they have an incompatible blood type or tissue type. 

The AKX Program will help find compatible donors amongst other registered pairs who might be a suitable match. This enables two compatible living donor transplants to occur

How does the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange work?

Willing participants in the AKX Program are registered in the computer database system that contains all the registered donor/recipient pairs across Australia.

Every three months, the computer program searches the entire database of registered recipient/donor pairs to look for combinations that might enable a suitable kidney exchange to occur.

If the computer identifies a possible match combination, doctors will determine whether it is suitable to proceed with further medical testing necessary for a transplant to take place.

If no match is found in the first match run, you can choose remain on the register so that you will be included in further computer match runs. If no match is found after several match runs, your doctor may discuss other available options.

Who can participate in the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange?

If you are eligible to receive a kidney transplant, and are receiving care at a transplant centre in Australia, you may be able to participate in the AKX Program. You must also have a living donor who is willing but unable to donate to you because of an incompatible blood type or tissue type.

Your donor must be willing to take part and donate a kidney to someone else.

If a match is found, where would the transplant take place?

If all parties agree to an exchange, and are found to be medically compatible, the two transplant surgeries take place at two different transplant hospitals. Each donor/recipient pair remains at their own transplant hospital. .

Can I make contact the other pair?

No. Strict privacy and confidentiality is be maintained for each donor/recipient pair. This is also one of the reasons for using different hospital sites.  Protecting the privacy of the donor/recipient pairs are of utmost importance throughout the AKX Program and into the future.

For more information about the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange contact the National AKX Program Coordinator

Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program
Department of Nephrology
Fremantle Hospital
Fremantle WA 6160

Phone:  08 9431 3690
Fax: 08 9431 3902