Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kidney Donation

Looks like the fear that donating a kidney reduces life expectancy is unfounded. Maybe this will clear the way for selling kidneys and saving lives?

People who donate a kidney live just as long and are just as healthy as those with two kidneys, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researchers that is the largest ever done on the long-term health consequences of donation.

The study provides a reassurance that experts hope will encourage more organ donations at a time when the need for such life-saving transplants is on the rise. Today there are 78,000 people on the kidney transplant list, and most will not survive the five- to seven-year wait for a kidney from a deceased donor.

Researchers tracked down nearly all of the 3,700 people who had donated kidneys at the university’s transplant center between 1963 and 2007.

The findings will be published today in the New England Journal of Medicine with an editorial that described the results as surprising and quite reassuring.


Dave said...

The generosity of live organ donors is wonderful. It's a shame we need so many live organ donors. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is another good way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 50% of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

jonSlack said...

Even better! We can have Kidney Social Security!

When every individual reaches the age of 18 they go on the government kidney "donor" list. If your kidney is needed at some point you "donate" it. The system works because government guarantees that there will always be a kidney available from another "donor" should you need one in the future. This would be a great part of any future government universal health care program.

What could possibly go wrong? ;)

addtree said...

to me it is still questionable whether single kidney is better than double, lack of statistic may be and need to be proofed by the person who tell the statement