A Singaporean renal patient is scheduled to become the first person in Southeast Asia to receive a kidney from someone with a different blood type, specialists said yesterday.
Khairul Anwar Ibni, 46, an O-positive blood type, will receive the kidney from his wife, Radiyah Mohamad Som, 43, who is A positive.
The procedure, known as an ABO incompatible kidney transplant, allows an organ to be accepted even when blood types do not match, Lye Wai Choong, a renal specialist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, told the Sunday Times.
In standard transplants, both donor and recipient belong to a common blood group.
“Normal kidney transplants have a 98 percent success rate,” Lye was quoted as saying. “But in ABO incompatible transplants, the success rate is 85 to 90 percent.”
ABO transplants were first performed in Sweden and later in Japan. It caught on in the US and Europe in 2000.
Lye recommended the procedure to Khairul to be carried out at the end of this month, as it is his only chance.
Many patients have been reluctant to be the first to undergo such a transplant in the city-state.
Extensive preparation is needed beforehand to remove antibodies from the recipient and prepare him for the transplant, the report said.
There were 555 renal patients waiting for a kidney in Singapore last year. The average wait is nine years.
“In the past, many patients stood no chance of getting a kidney,” transplant surgeon James Tan told the newspaper. “But now with ABO incompatible transplants, we can have a bigger donor pool.”