In my last post, I promised I’d get you some updated wait listed living kidney donor numbers and here they are:
As of December 31, 2012, 324 living kidney donors have been wait listed in need of their own kidney transplant.*
I wrote three in-depth posts regarding this very subject back in July 2011, using multiple data sets. They, in conjunction with the new total above, show very clearly that the number is growing.
285 – April 1, 1994-March 31, 2011
169 – January 1996-December 2007
121 – January 1996-May 2006
115 – January 1995-June 2005
I could spend hours ruminating on the reasons why this is happening, but it would be conjecture. We have so little data on living donors in general, and these kidney donors specifically, that’s it’s nearly impossible to draw any conclusions. However, Steiner’s point that a ‘clean’ 25-year-old prospect living kidney donor is at greater risk for developing end-stage renal disease than a 55 year old is probably a good thinking point.
As are my prior posts:
If we had a registry, none of this would be a mystery. We’d know all of the living kidney donors’ pre-donation demographics and we’d be able to track the progression of their kidney disease. We’d have a greater knowledge of the living kidney donors who have end-stage renal disease but haven’t been wait listed (yet) or who have decided to forego transplant and continue on dialysis. As it stands, the transplant industry’s historical disregard for living donor safety has resulted in a pebbles of information lacking any real context. And it’s impossible to keep any living kidney donor safe under those circumstances.
*Per OPTN data request.