Monday, November 14, 2011


There are 90,368 U.S. patients currently waiting for  kidney transplant.

Because of the lack of available donors in the U.S., 4,573 kidney patients died in 2008 while waiting for that life-saving kidney.

Of all U.S. deaths last year, its estimated that 12,000 of them could meet the criteria for organ donation, but less than 1/2 of them become actual organ donors.

Deceased donor organs are matched to recipients by the National Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network. Its computer registry is operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing, located in Richmond, Virginia.

There are 58 organ procurement organizations in the U.S. providing services to 250 transplant centers nationwide.

Transplant recipients are determined by medical urgency, compatibility, body size, blood chemistry. Race is not a factor.

For those on the kidney wait list, transplantation doubles the life expectancy vs. kidney dialysis..

The average waiting time on the deceased Kidney transplant list is 4 years, in some regions - 7 years.

Research has proven that the shorter the wait, the longer the life expectancy. 

My brother Kevin has been on the kidney transplant waiting list OVER 3 years. His kidney function is just 11%, yet he’s been able to avoid having to start dialysis based on the level of toxins in his blood.  

Surviving the Wait stopwatch

It is just a matter of time before Kevin will have to begin dialysis.  Typically its recommended when a patient reaches 15% function.

Statistics show that patients have a longer life expectancy, post transplant – if they’ve not had dialysis before the transplant. 

But if dialysis begins, the statistics for survival without a transplant, become more grim.  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports the dialysis survival rate as follows: 

1 year - Nearly 80%

2 yeas – 64%

5 years – 33%

Only 10 percent of dialysis patients survive 10 years.

However you look at it, Kevin’s running out of time.  As a deceased donor kidney hasn’t been found, his best option is to find a live kidney donor. 

For more information on becoming a live kidney donor, visit the Penn Transplant Institute website.  The fastest way to start the process is to complete the Live Kidney Donor Referral Form & fax to the Penn Transplant Institute.