Kidney donations by family members on the decline

In this photo from April 2015, Tom Traill, left, takes in a Pirates game with his son Nick, right. About 3 weeks later, Tom Traill successfully donated a kidney to Nick.

When doctors told Tom Traill in 2014 that his then 29-year-old son, Nick, was in kidney failure, he was stunned.

But when they said the option to most quickly restore Nick’s health was to get a living family member to donate a kidney, he didn’t hesitate.

“I just wanted to get it done. Whatever it took to get him healthy,” Tom Traill, 54, of North Huntingdon, said this past week, just over a year since surgeons at Allegheny General Hospital successfully took one of his kidneys and transplanted it in his son a couple weeks before Father’s Day, 2015. “Not a second thought.”

Tom Traill and his family may not have given it a second thought — his wife and older son also offered their kidneys to Nick but were not good matches — but more people are.

In a trend that has lasted more than a decade, 39 percent fewer family members — parents, children, siblings or other blood-related family — are donating one of their kidneys to a relative in need of a transplant. The dramatic turn that began in 2004 has worried and perplexed transplant experts in study after study. Continue reading
You have the power to SAVE Lives
Please register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America ensure donation happens, please share your donation decision with your family. At stake is the legacy you plan to leave.