The Weekend Effect: Viable Kidney Transplants Lost For CKD And Dialysis Patients Over The Weekend



For most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients, the weekend is an exciting time to spend relaxing with family members and friends, enjoying a hobby or simply recovering from a busy and stressful week. However, investigators have discovered that completely viable kidneys are discarded at much higher rates over the weekend than during the week. Thus, the questions that must be addressed for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients who are anxiously awaiting their calls for a kidney transplant are: (1) Why are more kidneys discarded over the weekend, and (2) what can patients do to improve their chances of getting a kidney transplant?

Referred to as the "Weekend Effect," researchers reported that kidneys which would normally be made available for transplantation were less likely to be procured (obtained) from donors over the weekend. What is even more troubling is the fact that kidneys and other organs available for transplant are more than 20% more likely to be discarded over the weekend than kidneys obtained on other days. Let's be clear, the kidneys which were discarded during the weekend "were of higher quality on average than those discarded during the week," according to a new report in Kidney International.

Recommended Reading: Discarded Kidneys Found To Work For Chronic Kidney Disease Patients. Excluding Specific Recipients.

To be more specific, kidneys procured on Friday and Saturday had a 29% and 25% higher probability of being discarded. With over 5,000 Chronic Kidney Disease patients dying in the United States every year while waiting for a kidney transplant this high rate of disposing of what otherwise may be considered viable kidneys is concerning, especially given the worsening kidney shortage (increasing Kidney Transplant wait times) in the United States. 

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Although, 2,700 kidneys are disposed of every year, there are currently no universal guidelines to recommend which kidneys should be used or rejected.  While the specific reasons for the increased rate of discarded kidneys over the weekend is unclear, "Factors other than kidney quality appear to influence whether kidneys will be used for transplantation," said lead researcher, Dr. Sumit Mohan (Columbia University Medical Center). She continued, "The most commonly cited reason for organ discard is organ quality, but recent analyses by our group suggest that even kidneys of acceptable quality are being discarded at an increasing rate."

Recommended Reading: New Technology To Rejuvenate "Dead," Discarded Kidneys Used In Two CKD/Dialysis Patients

Due to the growing number of patients in need of a Kidney Transplant as well as a decreasing number of available deceased donor kidneys, and an increasing amount of discarded kidneys, there is an even more pressing need for Chronic Kidney Disease patients to connect with Altruistic (kindhearted) Living Kidney Donors. Consider sharing your need for a Kidney Transplant with a wider audience of people. Social Media is becoming an increasingly popular and effective resource for Chronic Kidney Disease patients to connect with generous Living Kidney Donors. If you need help, then click here and sign up for the, Find A Kidney Donor Campaign. For more ideas to connect with kindhearted individuals who may consider kidney donation, then click here.

Recommended Reading: Major Kidney Transplant Milestone Highlights A Severe Deficiency In The Kidney Transplant System

Moreover, this study underscores the need for policies and strategies to lower the rates of discarded kidneys and improve transplantation outcomes. Hence, sign and share the below petition to request that the United Network for Organ Sharing addresses this important issue and works to reduce the rate of discarded kidneys which may help to increase Kidney Transplants. 

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How are you outreaching to improve your chances of connecting with potential Altruistic Living Kidney Donors? Share your answers with the over 40,000 friends at the Facebook Fan Page (click here). Like the page while you are there. Also, visit (1.2 million viewers in the past 12 months) daily for breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives.

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