GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) — The story of a Griffith boy in need of a kidney transplant has kept the phone lines busy at the University of Chicago transplant program.
The volume of calls "stymied the staff," said Dr. Yolanda Becker, a professor of surgery and director of the kidney and pancreas program.
When stories, such as the one about 8-year-old Blake Loudenber, surface, phone calls tend to surge from people who want to find out if they are a match. Usually, they are not, but Becker said that doesn't mean they're not a match for the thousands of other people waiting for an organ.
Nearly 92,000 people in the United States are waiting for a kidney. Of them, almost 1,800 are younger than 18. In Indiana, about 1,200 people are waiting for a kidney, according to information from the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network.
Prospective donors undergo a battery of tests to determine if they are healthy enough, both physically and mentally, to undergo the procedure. Generally, donors cannot be younger than 18 or older than 70.
Placement on a transplant list is complicated for those who need an organ.
"Everybody thinks it's like a grocery list," Becker said.
Actually, it is a national list that works on a point system, figuring in for age, geography and how "sensitized" a person is, meaning how well the body is expected to receive the organ, among other factors.
Read more: http://www.necn.com/04/20/12/Boys-plight-fuels-surge-in-organ-donatio/landing_health.html?&apID=99d496882a8e47a7b428b69e851a6776