Although a kidney transplant is considered the best hope for people struggling with end-stage renal disease, a new study conducted in Georgia found three-quarters of these patients weren't even evaluated for a possible transplant within their first year of dialysis.
That finding flies in the face of U.S. regulations that require all dialysis centers to fully inform these patients about all available treatment options. Those options include kidney transplantation, a typically less expensive intervention than ongoing dialysis and one that also promises greater longevity and a better quality of life, the researchers noted.
What's more, the team found a huge variation in statewide referral rates. Some dialysis centers failed to send even a single first-year patient for a transplant consultation, while others referred 75 percent of their new patients.
It remains unclear how well the rest of the country is handling kidney transplant referrals. Continue reading