Kidney Transplants Continue to Rise Nationally
Jul 05, 2022
A new report shows continued increases in the number of lifesaving kidney transplants taking place across the country, according to data compiled by United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
UNOS is the engine that powers the national donation and transplant system, serving as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) under federal contract.
Following changes in March of 2021 to how deceased donor kidneys were allocated, an early data report showed increases in the number of transplants and expanded equity, especially amongst historically marginalized groups.
Now, with one full year of post-implementation data available, the new report shows a 16% increase in kidney transplants across the nation, including for the following groups:
- 23% for Black patients
- 29% for Hispanic patients
- 20% for Asian patients
- 36% for people with longer times on dialysis
- 63% for pediatric patients
- 79% for highly-sensitized patients, or those with more difficulty finding a compatible donor organ
This data remains consistent with previous reports that showed similar, positive results for the same patient groups.
“We continue to see positive results for patients and families following changes we enacted in 2021,” said UNOS CEO Brian Shepard. “Getting to this point means bringing together a diverse group of physicians, patients, advocates, donor families and others to develop policies that continue to improve the national system and save more lives. But even as we see transplants rise and equity improving, there is more work to do and we are committed to building on these and other successes.”
The report also showed an increase in the number of kidneys that were not utilized. In keeping with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Math (NASEM) recommendations, UNOS and stakeholders across the nation are committed to working together to find new ways to incentivize the use of more kidneys. Ongoing efforts to achieve this goal include the UNOS-developed offer-filters tool for transplant programs, expanding the use of predictive analytics in decision making, and more.
Additionally, the OPTN Kidney Transplantation Committee will continue to monitor the impact and results of this policy.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is a non-profit, charitable organization that serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) under contract with the federal government. The OPTN helps create and define organ allocation and distribution policies that make the best use of donated organs. This process involves continuously evaluating new advances and discoveries so policies can be adapted to best serve patients waiting for transplants. All transplant programs and organ procurement organizations throughout the country are OPTN members and are obligated to follow the policies the OPTN creates for allocating organs.
United Network for Organ Sharing
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