Fraternal Education Initiative Outline

There is an Overwhelming Need for Kidney Transplants…Your Organization Can Help

There are more than 100,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a kidney transplant. For many, the wait for a deceased donor kidney could be 10 years. More than 4,700 from this group die each year while waiting. This tragedy is avoidable. There is a successful model in place, living kidney transplants.

Our current effort on solving the problem is almost exclusively focused on encouraging people to register to be an organ and tissue donor in the event of their untimely death. These programs have been very successful, but even if every kidney from a deceased donor were used it would not be enough to keep up with the need. The government provides millions of dollars in grants to convey this message and not one penny on educating the public about the need for living donation.

Each year there are approximately 5,500 successful living kidney transplants. With a more educated public the number of living kidney transplants should increase.

There are many benefits to receiving a kidney from a living donor versus one from a deceased donor. The most obvious is that a kidney from a living donors lasts on average twice as long as one from a deceased donor. The surgery is a major surgical procedure but is now done laparoscopically allowing the donor to return home in 1 to 3 days after surgery. Medical advances and drugs have enabled many more people to be a compatible donor. In the past, living donors needed to be close relatives to “match,” now, many living donors are not related to their recipient. Research shows that there is very little risk to donors, that they have the lifespan, hypertension and overall wellness rates comparable to the general population. There’s a growing trend of people who learn about the long waiting list and decide to donate a kidney even though they don’t know someone in need. This type of donor is referred to as a non-­- directed donor (NDD). Medical technology and kidney paired donations, also called paired exchanges, swaps or chains, results in a NDD being able to save the life of not just one person but many. These transplants are called domino paired exchanges or ongoing paired exchanges. To read more about these transplants click here.

In a study using data from 2008 – 2012, analysis found that each NDD resulted in 4.8 kidney transplants. For each NDD that had an O blood type, there were 6 lives saved from one NDD.

Someone attending this presentation will have a better understanding of the crisis in kidney transplantation and will hopefully consider being a donor should they find out that a friend or loved one is in need of a kidney transplant or would be interested in learning more about NDD.

For a printable copy of this page, click here.

Harvey
Harvey Mysel, Founder & President

Harvey established the LKDN after recognizing the need for better resources while pursuing a successful living kidney transplant in 2006. Our purpose is to share knowledge and build the confidence to enable the life changing benefits of living donation. Click here to learn more about Harvey.

Solutions are in everyone’s grasp.