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UCSF suspends living-donor kidney transplants after mysterious death

The University of California San Francisco Medical Center is voluntarily suspending its living-donor program for kidney transplants after the unexplained death of a donor.

The suspension is effective immediately, the hospital said in a statement. The decision came after a kidney donor died in November. After six weeks of investigation, the cause of death is still unknown. The hospital said the recipient has a functioning transplant.

"The safety and well-being of our patients is our top priority, and every effort is being made to understand what happened. We are deeply saddened by this tragic event," the statement said.

The hospital said it notified the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) immediately after the patient's death. As is the standard, when a donor death occurs in the early post-operative period, UNOS asked for the voluntary suspension of the program.

UCSF is one of the largest kidney transplant programs in the country, performing about 350 kidney transplants annually, with approximately 150 involving living donors. It has more patients on the kidney transplant waiting list than any other U.S. transplant center and has performed more kidney transplants overall than any other center in the country, with more than 10,000 since 1964.

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