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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kidney Transplant Committee Proposes Changes Aimed at Better Use of Donated Organs

According to the government data, every year, around 2,600 to 2,800 kidneys are recovered from the deceased donor and then they are discarded because the medical staff is unable to transplant them before it gets destroyed. At the same time, it becomes quite shocking to know that hundreds of people are kept on waiting for a kidney transplant in U. S. and among them so many even died waiting only. 

Today, there are 93,000 people on the U. S. kidney transplant list waiting for a surgery to happen. When there are kidneys in stock, then what exactly is the reason that hinders patients to get their treatment on time? Is it a way to keep the kidney transplant rate go higher? Most of the times the organs that are received from the donors are promising but then it all depends upon the age and health of the donors. And this is something that makes the organ unfeasible for transplant. But according to experts, if there is a system of allocating the right organ to the right recipient and during the right amount of time then at least half of these organs would be efficiently used and not discarded.

The main culprit is the outdated computer matching program that has made the entire process inefficient, resulting into a medical rationing system. After nine years of fitful work, the governance committee that oversees kidney transplants in the United States proposed a series of tweaks on Friday aimed at making better use of the country’s desperately inadequate supply of deceased-donor organs. Central to the plan is a new index for better estimating the quality of the more than 14,000 kidneys recovered from dead donors each year. The top 20 percent of kidneys, as measured by the index, would be directed to those candidates expected to live the longest after a transplant — typically younger patients.

Using computer simulations, the plan’s architects estimated the changes would produce an additional 8,380 years of life from one year of transplants. That is about half the number of years generated by a plan previously considered by the committee, which would have matched many kidneys to recipients by age. That plan was abandoned after federal officials warned last year that it would violate age discrimination laws.

New York Times has great article on this issue: Please Click Here

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