August 2019

3,500 Donated Kidney Thrown Away Each Year in US, Study Finds

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that a total of 156,089 kidneys were donated to transplant centers between 2004 and 2014. Only 128,102 of those kidneys were transplanted, with over 27,000 being discarded. In 2016 the number of kidneys wasted increased, with about 20 percent discarded. Researchers say the number of discarded kidneys is due to “intense regulatory scrutiny.” This means that if a kidney isn’t in the best shape, doctors are more reluctant to perform the transplant procedure. Financial and regulatory reasons also play a role in discarded kidneys, as older kidneys may cost more to transplant and require a longer recovery period. Currently, there are 93,000 people  on the waiting list for  kidney transplants in  the United States. Roughly 5,000 people on the list die each year, which is about 12 people a day.