Friday, April 02, 2010

Transplantable kidneys infected with hepatitis C are being wasted

Hundreds of transplantable kidneys from people who have hepatitis C are thrown away every year in the United States, according to a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation. Escience News reports on the study, as does US News & World Report.

Some transplant centers give kidneys from hepatitis C patients to other patients who have hepatitis C. Recipients of these kidneys have a slightly lower survival rates than do patients who receive infection-free kidneys. The difference in 1-year survival is 1%, and the difference in 3-year survival is 2%. But the wait for an infection-free kidney is over a year longer, and the risk of death during that extra year is 10% to 15%. This more than offsets the lower survival rates from infected kidneys.

This is further proof that everyone can sign up to donate their organs when they die. Surgeons are also transplanting organs from people who had cancer and HIV. This is why LifeSharers doesn't exclude anyone from joining. No one will know if your organs are transplantable until you die. The surgeons will figure it out when the time comes. If someone tells you that you can't donate your organs, they are mistaken.

If you haven't already done so, please join LifeSharers. It's free. You can save several lives. One of them might be your own, because your membership gives you preferred access to the organs of other members.

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