Voucher program may reduce organ transplant waitlist, save lives

Vermont surgery room. (AP)

An emerging voucher program that allows relatives to preemptively donate their kidneys to a potential loved one in need is slated to roll out in at least 10 U.S. hospitals.

The program, developed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), aims to revolutionize the organ donation system and save lives. According to the National Kidney Foundation, over 20 million people are living with chronic kidney disease and more than 100,000 are awaiting a kidney transplant. An average of 13 people die each day waiting for a kidney donor match.

“This is groundbreaking and could completely change the field of transplantation,” Dr. Jeffrey Veale, a transplant surgeon who helped start the program at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, said in a press release. “The demand for a kidney transplant is tremendous, but with this program, I would argue that, for the first time in history, we can actually start reducing the number of people who are on the waiting list.” Continue reading
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