Groundbreaking Kidney Rescue Service Saves First Patient


Molly E. Russin
34 Lives, PBC

(215) 260-4198
[email protected]

Groundbreaking Kidney Rescue Service Saves First Patient
34 Lives Begins Implementation Study to Give Unused Human Kidneys a Second Chance

West Lafayette, Indiana— On April 20, 2024, the 34 Lives perfusion team rescued a human kidney that had been deemed not usable. The rescued kidney was successfully transplanted into a recipient who had been on dialysis for almost two years. The Purdue Research Park-based company is on a mission to decrease the number of kidneys in the US that are recovered with the intent to transplant but subsequently not used.

“34 Lives has developed an innovative service that enables us to provide previously unavailable information regarding the health of hard-to-place kidneys, allowing them to be placed with increased confidence by transplant professionals,” explained Chris Jaynes, Co-Founder at 34 Lives.

The company is conducting an Implementation Study throughout the US that will document 80 rescued kidneys in collaboration with 10 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) and four transplant hospitals: Indiana University Heath, Mt. Sinai (NY), University of Wisconsin, and University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Bill Goggins, Professor of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine, who performed the transplant, said, “Speaking for myself, I believe the data that 34 Lives provided helped me to better assess the donated kidney that was at risk of being discarded. I am pleased to report that the recipient is doing very well and went home five days post-transplant without any medical complications. While we expected her kidney to have a slow start and that she might need a run of dialysis after transplant, the kidney started right away, and she did not.”

Dr. Giselle Guerra, Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Miami Transplant Institute, added, “Dr. Bill Goggins is one of the top transplant surgeons in the country who now has performed the first kidney transplant optimized with the normothermic machine. The transplant doctors working with 34 Lives are excited with what the future holds. The 34 Lives warm perfusion service is going to help decrease the discard rate of kidneys recovered for possible transplant in the US. Everyone in the study is committed to optimizing kidneys that may be considered marginal and transplanting more individuals who await this life-altering surgery. It’s the reason we all got involved—to transplant more kidneys and save more lives.”

Julie Bergin, CEO of the participating OPO Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), commented, “Our organization is proud to be part of the effort to give unused kidneys a ‘second chance’, and to increase the number of patients who are given the gift of life. This new technology improves the opportunities for our donor heroes to save and heal more lives.”

Every day in this country, approximately 34 lives are lost as patients on the national transplant waiting list are removed either die or become too ill to stay on the list. “In 2023, over 8,500 kidneys were recovered with the intent to be transplanted but, for a variety of reasons, were unused. We are thrilled to be working with OPOs and transplant hospitals across the country to reduce that number and save lives,” added Kathleen St. Jean, Co-Founder, 34 Lives.

The news comes in the wake of recent congressional hearings that have called for immediate transformation and innovation regarding organ transplantation. According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), over 123,000 Americans are on the national transplant waiting list; more than 101,000 need a kidney.

To learn more about the work of 34 Lives, visit the website at

About 34 Lives:

  • 34 Lives is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) headquartered in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana. The firm is committed to saving the lives of patients awaiting kidney transplant by providing innovative solutions that can give hard-to-place kidneys a second chance and enough time to make it to a waiting patient.
  • A Central Preservation and Assessment Service to Optimize Donor Kidney Allocation, OPTIMAL, the firm’s research protocol, can be found at  [Identifier NCT06263023]
  • 34 Lives has been funded by the National Kidney Foundation Innovation Fund, Ballad Health, the Niswonger Foundation, and individual investors.