Why is the United States throwing away kidneys?

There are 100,000 Americans waiting for a kidney transplant, and 12 people die each day waiting for a new kidney.   But every day in the United States,  10 kidneys that could be used for transplant are thrown away.


Why does that happen? In the United States, kidneys are thrown away if the donor had high blood pressure, diabetes, or a had a prior heart attack.  Over 3500 kidneys are thrown away a year.  In other countries, those kidneys are still used for transplant because the kidneys are still considered useful and functional.


The alternative to not getting a kidney transplant is being on dialysis. The mortality rate for dialysis patients is 20% per year. So the average patient on dialysis only lives for 5 years.


What is being done to fix this problem?  New guidelines for transplant centers and hospitals have been written to try to address this issue.  But at this time the issue is still unresolved.


You can sign up to be an organ donor at the DMV and it will be noted on your driver’s license.  It is also helpful to be sure your family knows that you would want your organs donated.



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