Subtitle: why to view statistics carefully.
According to UNOS/OPTN and SRTR, 7481 people became living donors in the years 2008- March, 2009 in the US*.
Of those, 267 sought hospital readmission within 12 months of surgery, a total of 3.5%.
However, not all living donors were reported to UNOS at the six-week, six-month and 12-month mark. 134 were lost by the six-week mark, another 884 by six-months, and an additional 3060 by one-year.
– 46/7347 experienced complications severe enough to require hospitalization in the first six weeks.
– 152/6597 sought readmission between six week and six months.
– 69/4421 were rehospitalized between six months and one-year.
The accompanying percentages:
.6% Six weeks
2.3% between six-weeks and six-months
1.5% between six-months and one-year
Based on the table, it’s impossible to ascertain an accurate *total* hospital readmission rate at 12 months because I have no way of knowing if any of the living donors with complications at earlier intervals became unreported later. In other words, given the info I have, I can’t calculate the proper denominator.
But I can pretty much guarantee that 3.5% will be the statistic used by the transplant industry in every one of their studies and press releases. Now you know to view it with great skepticism.
*Notice this is 15 months and not 12; hence, I don’t talk about X number of anything per year.