Living Donor Risks Living Kidney Donor Transplant Wait List

Living Kidney Donors Listed for Transplant, part I

Four months ago I requested data from UNOS on LKDs who had been waitlisted in need of their own kidney transplant. Even though the first living kidney donor transplant was in 1954 and UNOS was up and running in 1988, no identifying info was collected on living donors until 1994 making tracking impossible prior to that date. A local four-point waitlist priority was given a bit later, which made pinpointing prior living donors on the waitlist easier.

In my vast files of articles, I have earlier data on waitlisted LDs, but nothing as comprehensive as what I requested and received. I thought some comparison might be in order:

Total number of wait list registrations of known living kidney donors

115 – January 1995-June 2005
121 – January 1996-May 2006
169 – January 1996-December 2007*
285 – April 1, 1994-March 31, 2011

Both the 96-07 and 94-11 charted the years of first listing. When I compared the same years line by line, 94-11’s numbers for many years were higher than 96-07. I have no idea why this may be, but I did want to point it out.

Also, 96-07 includes 9 additional LKDs from 1987-1993. Since my data has nothing prior to April 1994, the most accumulative total as recently as March 31, 2011 is most likely 294.

Age at time of donation is unknown for 167 of the 285 (122/169 also unknown), which is most likely the result of having no social security numbers prior to 1994.

Of 285 total, 118 known age at time of donation:
74 were 18-34 (63%)
38 were 35-49 (32%)

Compare that to national data on all living kidney donors from 1988 forward, according to OPTN’s website:

49 were 11-17 yo (.046%)***
36,877 were 18-34 (34.4%)
48,294 were 35-49 (45%)
20,724 were 50-64 (19.3%)
1242 were 65+ (1.2%)
total: 107,188 (including 9 unknown)

So, and this requires a bit of inference, unfortunately; only 34% of total living kidney donors are 18-34 at time of donation, but 63% of LKDs waitlisted were that age when they donated?

Not good springs to mind.


Read: Living Kidney Donors Wait Listed for Transplant, Part II

Read: Minority Living Kidney Donors With End-Stage Renal Disease or Wait Listed for Transplant


***btw, the b.s. ‘guidelines’ OPTN passed in ’07 cautioned very strongly against using LDs under the age of 18 yet 5 of the 11-17 year olds came in 2008 and 2009. Way to be ethical and put the living donor’s health first transplant programs!

8 replies on “Living Kidney Donors Listed for Transplant, part I”

Yes, the 11-17 year olds really got my attention here! How unethical to even THINK about doing this. I'm thinking these donors have a high probability of some day being on the wait list . . .

Your use of statistics is sloppy and does not support the conclusions you are attempting to draw. Evidenced by the one comment on this blog, which expresses outrage at 11-17 year old donors, who compromise less an one-half of one percent of such donations. Hardly a numbers that support outrage.

I would refer you to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine on the long-term outcomes of kidney donors (see summary below):

A new study addresses the safety of living kidney donation. The study is in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers reviewed the health of nearly 3,700 people who donated a kidney between 1963 and 2007.

The results offer reassurance for potential kidney donors:

Their life expectancy was normal.
Their rate of kidney disease was actually lower than expected. This may be because potential kidney donors are thoroughly screened. Doctors avoid taking kidneys from people with kidney disease and conditions that might cause it in the future. These conditions include diabetes and high blood pressure.
Kidney function remained normal for more than 85% of donors who were tested.
The overall health of kidney donors was similar to that of non-donors.
The quality of life of kidney donors was actually higher than non-donors.
There's no guarantee of lasting kidney function and good overall health for everyone who donates a kidney. However, this study strongly suggests that there are few later health problems for the types of people who are approved as kidney donors.

Cherry-picking statistics and then combining them with an agenda is a dangerous practice.

Ibrahim's study is deeply flawed. See the following:

"They're referring to the U of Minnesota Ibrahim study…know that it only followed living donors 10 years out (not 20) and reported data on a small cohort (255 white women who donated before 40) and 40% of their total living donors declined to participate. This is not evidence of anything, despite how the mainstream media ran with it."

And here:

11-17 year olds should be compose ZERO percent of living donors. Children who cannot enter into legally binding contracts should be not be used as organ incubators – period.

Unless you have something to add under a real user name, don't bother to comment again, because it won't be approved.

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