UCLA Health advocates re-gifting approach to kidney transplants

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Re-gifting kidneys can save lives: Rick Williams reports during Action News at 5pm on April 9, 2018. (WPVI)

UCLA Health is advocating a new approach to kidney transplants - 're-gifting'.

If a transplant recipient dies and their kidney is still healthy, it's being re-transplanted into another patient.

"20 to 25 percent of patients who have a kidney transplant die with a functioning kidney transplant. That's a lot of potential kidneys that could be put out there in the pool," said Dr. Jeffrey Veale.

When Beto Maldonado died in a car accident 2 years after receiving a new kidney, his family donated it.

It went to Vertis Boyce, who'd been on the waiting list for 9 years.

UCLA doctors think re-gifting, which was once taboo, could help thousands of people each year.

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