There are approximately 90,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list. In many areas of the U.S. the wait for a deceased donor kidney is more than 5 years because there aren’t enough deceased donor kidneys to keep up with the demand.

Each year almost 10% of those on the kidney transplant waiting list either die or are removed from this list because they are no longer healthy enough to receive a kidney transplant. However, studies have shown that significantly more people, 43,000 die each year whose lives could be saved if more kidneys were available. Click here “The Terrible Toll of the Kidney Shortage.”

The above statistics don’t tell the whole story:

  1. There are 500,000+- people on dialysis. These individuals don’t have functioning kidneys and a kidney transplant would significantly improve their lives.
  2. 1.2 million Americans are in late stage kidney failure. Many don’t even know about their condition because there are often few side effects until very late stage kidney failure.
  3. There 37 million Americans that have CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) a condition where your kidneys don’t work as well as they should. CKD patients experience a gradual loss of their kidney function.

Benefits of a Kidney from a Living Donor versus One from a Deceased Donor

  1. You don’t have the long wait for a deceased donor kidney.
  2. A kidney from a living donor lasts on average twice as long as one from a deceased donor.
  3. You can avoid being on dialysis or if you are on dialysis, shorten the time you are being dialyzed.
  4. You can schedule your transplant, unlike a deceased donor transplant where you need to go to the center quickly when called and are unable to prepare for this major surgical procedure.
  5. A kidney from a living donor is generally healthier than one from taken from someone who has died.
  6. Kidneys from deceased donors often don’t start functioning immediately, referred to as a “sleepy kidney.” The patient may need to continue on dialysis for several weeks. This rarely happens with a living kidney transplant.
  7. You are not taking up a spot on the deceased donor list.
  8. Waiting for a kidney from a deceased donor is often stressful and can cause anxiety for the individual and their family members and friends.

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