Saturday, September 29, 2018

A Personal Question About an Organ Transplant

Image result for kidney

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

Vaness Weiland, a nurse practitioner at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Dr. Lena Sibulesky, a transplant surgeon at the University School of Medicine ask a question I'd not thought about.  

You need a new kidney to stay alive. Would you reject one from someone who died of a drug overdose?
Would you? What is your reason? Is there anything else you'd want to know before answering?

About 20,000 kidney transplants are done each year in the United States with a waiting list of some 95,000. So "getting a donor kidney is a years long wait." Would knowing this influence your answer?

In their recent study of patient's decisions, "'I don't need another problem,' fairly characterizes the mindset of transplant candidates who declined increased risk donor kidneys."

However, in this study patient education made a difference. Ninety-two percent "of patients in our study who had declined an increased risk donor kidney but, after learning more, said they would be open to accept such an organ in the future."

Weiland's and Sibulesky's column about this question is from STAT which includes more details and also a link to their study with potential transplant patients.

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