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Kidney Transplant Donors Promised Priority Access

Delays in priority access for prior kidney transplant donors often caused by delays in gaining active status

Newswise reports shortcomings have been found in priority kidney transplants for living donors. A study scheduled to appear in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) says that donors are promised priority for a kidney transplant if needed.

The research by Jennifer Wainright, PhD, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and her team shows a median waiting time of 98 days for former kidney transplant donors. From 40-50 kidney donors in the U.S. are added to the waiting list annually. There were 210 living donors added to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) from 2010-2015.

As of September 2015, 167 of these prior donors received deceased donor transplants, 6 received living donor transplants, 2 died, 5 were too sick to transplant, and 29 were still waiting.
Some 68.3% were in “inactive status,” so not eligible for organs, for 90 days, 17.6% for 90-365 days, 8.6% for 1-2 years, and 5.4% for 2 years.
  After receiving priority, most were transplanted quickly, with a median time in active status of 23 days.

We found that most prior living kidney donors on the kidney waiting list are transplanted quickly, but some spend periods of time waiting in inactive status. Others wait weeks or months on the waiting list without priority access, which must be requested by their transplant hospital,” said Dr. Wainright. “UNOS has developed procedures and education that aims to reduce these delays in the future.”

Study co-authors include Anna Kucheryavaya, MS, David Klassen, MD, and Darren Stewart, MS.