At last count, there were 244 Kidney Transplant Centers in the United States, according to the Non-profit Organization, National Kidney Center. Those collective centers hold over 100,000 Chronic Kidney Disease patients on their Kidney Transplant Waiting Lists - all of whom are in desperate need of a lifesaving Kidney Transplant. Well, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) broke the shocking news that the number of organs being tossed out or discarded has drastically increased. Reporter, Casey Ross (PBS) suggested the startling revelation that Kidney Transplant Hospitals across the United States are "throwing away less-than-perfect" kidneys and denying the sickest Chronic Kidney Disease patients lifesaving transplants. Apparently, a key reason for the decision to discard kidneys at a record rate is out of fear of a Federal crackdown and possibly losing Medicare funding.
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"Last year, 3,159 donated kidneys were discarded, up twenty percent (20%) from 2007, according to Federal Data," reported Ms. Ross. This comes with news that the wait time for a Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patient to receive a Kidney Transplant from the waiting list is also increasing. Ultimately, many Kidney Transplant Centers are rejecting relatively large amounts of kidneys because they are concerned that poor surgical outcomes will result in a federal penalization (penalty).
Put simply, surgeries involving imperfect kidneys and/or sicker patients are more risky, so Hospitals that do many of them run the risk of poor outcomes that may hurt their national performance. That is why Hospitals try to avoid the risk by discarding less-than-perfect kidneys. The Chief Executive of a Gift of Life Donor Program, Howard Nathan said, “To me, it just doesn’t make any sense. We have hundreds of thousands of people on Dialysis, and you have these kidneys available that would work…but Transplant Centers are afraid to use them because they might pull their results down.”
Nathan further noted that, "Many patients would gladly accept organs that are discarded because of real or perceived imperfections." Yet, decisions to reject those organs by Transplant Centers do not give them that opportunity. In general, centers are seeking organs free of disease and certain biomarkers that could impair function or cause complications after surgery. However, studies have repeatedly raised questions about whether organs are being tossed out unnecessarily.
This also has other implications. Have you ever felt as though your Kidney Transplant Center is looking for every excuse to take you off of the Kidney Transplant Waiting List or refuse to offer you a Kidney Transplant? Well, you are not alone. In the past five years that Organ Transplant Hospitals have been trying to avoid Federal crackdowns as a result of changes in standards, more than 4,300 transplant candidates were removed from waiting lists across the country. PBS mentioned, "That is up eighty-six percent (86%) from the 2,311 patients delisted in the five years prior to the regulation."
Although, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have begun circulating a memo highlighting concerns about organs going unused - citing the twenty percent increase in discarded kidneys - it is not enough. With nearly 13 patients dying every day awaiting a Kidney Transplant, immediate action must be made. Sign and share the below request to encourage CMS to take immediate action to help prevent Kidney Transplant Centers from tossing out Transplantable Kidneys, and limit Chronic Kidney Disease Patient removal from the Kidney Transplant Waiting List.
What's more, sign up for the Find A Kidney Donor Campaign to help enhance your search for a kind-hearted, generous Altruistic Living Kidney Donor (click here).
One Chronic Kidney Disease patient said, "This news is discouraging. The patient should be first, not the red tape." What are your thoughts about this shocking news? Share your response with the over 49,000 KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page Friends (click here). Also, follow the over 120,000 monthly viewers and visit KidneyBuzz.com every day for the latest 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.