The Kidney Transplant Collaborative (KTC) has shared an important update regarding the significant need for increased living donor kidney donations. New data from the 2022 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) metrics confirms that while the kidney transplant system is getting better overall, the living donor donations remain a missed opportunity for improvement and saving lives.
While all transplants have increased by 59.6% and deceased donor transplants are up by 88.2% over the past 10 years, living transplants remain underutilised and have only risen by 4.3% during that timeframe. This means more individuals suffering from kidney disease are not able to access the life-saving organ transplant they need.
“The living kidney donor system is, unfortunately, a failed enterprise, but it doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—be,” noted Andy Howard, vice chairman of the Kidney Transplant Collaborative. “I applaud the kidney transplant community’s efforts to improve over the past decade, but we have to do better when it comes to encouraging living donors.”
Approximately 93,000 Americans are currently on the waitlist for a kidney transplant, and tens of thousands more need to be added to the waitlist. To address this issue, KTC is advocating for legislation to increase the number of kidney transplants from living donors. The Living Kidney Donor Support Act would create a comprehensive national living organ donor infrastructure to improve all aspects of living organ donation across the United States.
“Living kidney donation has been effective for decades, but sadly, remains extremely underutilised. Fortunately, the Living Donor Support Act can foster lifesaving improvements in the transplant community,” noted Howard. “Through KTC’s advocacy and the support of patients, donors and our elected officials, we hope to pass this legislation, improve the living kidney donor system and increase kidney donations nationwide.”