Chronic Kidney Disease Patients' Passivity Is Hurting Their Chances Of Receiving Kidney Transplants

UPDATE: The most recent numbers associated with Kidney Donation which were provided by the United States Renal Data System, United Network for Organ Sharing, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) Annual Report, and reported by the National Kidney Foundation are staggering. 

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While 16,869 Kidney Transplants were conducted in 2013, still 101,170 Chronic Kidney Disease patients await a Kidney Transplant as of September 8th, 2014. This number has likely increased since nearly 3,000 new individuals in need of a kidney are added to the Kidney Transplant Waiting List each month, according to the National Kidney Foundation. To put this into perspective - approximately every 14 minutes someone is added to the Kidney Transplant Waiting List. 

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What's more startling is that 12 Chronic Kidney Disease patients pass away each day (4,453 patients died in 2013) while waiting for their much need Kidney Donor. The good news is that, there are individuals that care to serve as a Living Kidney Donor to help Chronic Kidney Disease patients in need. In fact, of the 16,869 Kidney Transplants conducted in 2013, 5,733 came from caring Living Kidney Donors who stepped up to donate to Chronic Kidney Disease patients in desperate need. 

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Although most Kidney Donations came from loved ones such as:  Parents to children (477), children to parents (863), identical twins (10), full siblings (1,056), half siblings (58), spouses or life partners (690) or other relatives (422); in some cases strangers donated in the form of unrelated paired donations (462) and unrelated anonymous donations (177). 

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Hence, the above figures reveal that only 639 individuals donated kidneys to those they were not directly related to and considerably less (177) donated anonymously. This should reemphasis the fact that while it is critically important to get and remain active on the Kidney Transplant Waiting list, all Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients who are highly motivated to get a Kidney Transplant should use the below listed options to improve their chances of connecting with much needed, potential Living Kidney Donors.

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Do not wait. Take action to attempt to connect with your Special Donor. Which strategies do you plan on incorporating into your overall approach in attempting to connect with a Living Kidney Donor? Your insights are valued so click here to share your response with the other 16,700+ Friends on the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page. Also, visit KidneyBuzz.com every day for the most Breaking News & Information which assist those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis and Diabetes better manage and improve their lives. 

ORIGINAL: The facts are stark and hard to digest for most Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetic patients who desire a Kidney Transplant. Nephrologist, Dr. Emilio Poggio (expert in Kidney Transplantation) said that, "600,000 are on Dialysis and 100,000 are on the waiting list for a Kidney Transplant. Yet only 16,000 transplants are done each year." Of the 16,000 Kidney Transplants conducted in the U.S. annually, 30 to 40% come from Living Kidney Donors which also have greater success and less complications than Kidney Transplants from Cadaver Kidneys, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Ken Merkley (Author and 2-time Kidney Transplant recipient) suggested that "patients with Kidney Disease [need] to be more assertive about getting themselves a transplant."

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The benefits of Kidney Transplantation far outweigh the side effects. A study which compared the health outcomes of Chronic Kidney Disease patients on Dialysis waiting for a Kidney Transplant to those who had already received a new kidney, found that the long-term mortality rate of transplant recipients was 48% to 82% lower than for those on Dialysis. “Transplantation is the way to go, and the sooner the better,” said Dr. Robert Heyka (Cleveland Clinic Chair of Nephrology Department). Dr. Poggio agreed that “for people who meet the requirements for Kidney Transplantation, it’s the best option for treatment.”

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As you well know, however, the unfortunate fact is that not everyone can receive a Kidney Transplant, and even those who are eligible wait excessively long periods of time for a call that seldom comes due to kidney scarcity. In fact, 4,500 patients die every year while waiting for a Kidney Transplant. Therefore, for many it may seem hopeless to ever strive to gain the quality of life associated with a Kidney Transplant. 

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Merkley said, “Don’t be like I was. I’ve got six brothers and sisters, and I was reluctant to talk to them.” He continued, "I’m pretty sure one of them would have been a good match, and my Nephrologist agreed with me and allowed me to stay on Dialysis when I could have gotten a Kidney Transplant much sooner.” There are a number of lesser known tactics which can actively assist in substantially improving Chronic Kidney Disease patents' chances of connecting with Living Kidney Donors that are often missed, and they include the following:

1.) Stay healthy and active. Manage your conditions that might complicate a transplant — like smoking — and remain compliant with your medical therapies. 


2.) Consider wearing a shirt which expresses your need for a Kidney Transplant. Wear a shirt around town such as the "Be A Kidney Donor Shirt" at KidneyBuzz.com (click here). When Kevin Campbell expressed his need for a Kidney Donor on a shirt and wore it regularly, he "found a willing donor in a distant relative," reported Merkley.

3.) Rent a billboard saying, "Looking for someone willing to become my life saving Kidney Donor." Place relevant information about yourself which others may find interesting. 

4.) Launch a full and effective Social Media Campaign. Use Facebook to share your story. Add appropriate Key Terms and Key Words to help pull and attract potential Living Kidney Donors to your page. You can work with KidneyBuzz.com to create a FREE Find A Kidney Donor Page today (click here)!

5.) Share flyers in your local area. Produce flyers asking for a willing living Kidney Donor. Be sure to include the name and web address of your Find A Kidney Donor Page on your fliers and ask individuals to Like your Facebook page. 

6.) Bumper stickers are relatively inexpensive to make. Work with a local sticker manufacturer in your area and make enough bumper stickers for you and your loved ones to share your need for a Kidney Transplant. On the sticker be sure to state why you want a Kidney Transplant and how someone can get in contact with you to donate. 

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Merkely's only regret is that he never asked his six brothers and sisters to give him one of their kidneys and wasted a lot of time waiting on the Kidney Transplant List. He wrote, “People like me need to be more assertive in finding help." Do not live with the same regrets. Lean forward and take immediate action to actively improve your chances of connecting with your potential Living Kidney Donor. For more Breaking News and Information about how Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetics can better manage and improve their lives, visit KidneyBuzz.com daily.

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References:

"Kidney Patients Urged to Be Assertive about Finding Donors." Http://www.timescolonist.com. Times Colonist.

"4 Facts You Need to Know About Kidney Transplants and Dialysis." Http://health.clevelandclinic.org. Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic.