N.Y. Times Examines Why Many Kidneys Available For Transplant Are Discarded

The posterior surfaces of the kidneys, showing...

The posterior surfaces of the kidneys, showing areas of relation to the parietes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Kidney (Photo credit: Joshua Schwimmer)

Topics: Public Health

Sep 20, 2012

In each of the past five years, more than 2,600 kidneys were recovered and discarded, according to government data.

The New York Times: In Discarding Of Kidneys, System Reveals Flaws
Last year, 4,720 people died while waiting for kidney transplants in the United States. And yet, as in each of the last five years, more than 2,600 kidneys were recovered from deceased donors and then discarded without being transplanted, government data show. … many experts agree that a significant number of discarded kidneys — perhaps even half, some believe — could be transplanted if the system for allocating them better matched the right organ to the right recipient in the right amount of time (Sack, 9/19).

The New York Times: After Death, Helping To Prolong Life
If the deceased is not registered as a donor, next of kin are presented with the decision, and families in LifeSource’s region decline consent about a third of the time, said Meg Rogers, the agency’s director of procurement. They may resist on moral or religious grounds, or simply because they are uncertain what their loved ones wanted. Exhaustion and pain may have drained their strength to wrestle with the choice (Sack, 9/19).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

A pig's (Sus scrofa domestica) kidney (ren) opened

A pig’s (Sus scrofa domestica) kidney (ren) opened (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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