SOLVING THE ORGAN DONOR SHORTAGE

TERASAKI RESEARCH INSTITUTE

In the United States, more than 100,000 patients are on the waiting list to receive an organ transplant. Many of those patients will have to wait a very long time (up to 10 years in some parts of the country) to receive an organ transplant. This lack of donors is a problem in all types of solid organ transplant.

We must develop a solution to this problem. We need to increase living donation rates to solve the kidney organ donor shortage. We need to develop other solutions for liver, lung, heart, pancreas, and small bowel transplant. Since the number of people dying each year who can donate their organs is relatively consistent, the number of potential organs available is close to being reached. This number may actually decrease over time with innovations in technology such as self-driving (autonomous) cars. Most analysis suggest that autonomous vehicles will eventually prevent over half of the 35,000 deaths that occur on American roads each year. This is clearly a good thing but it will have a negative impact on organ transplantation. We at the Terasaki Research Institute are working in many ways toward solutions to solve the organ donor shortage.

INSPIRING AND EDUCATING THE GENERAL POPULATION ABOUT KIDNEY TRANSPLANT AND LIVING DONATION

Less than one-third of the 6,500+ dialysis centers in the United States have a formal transplant education program in operation. Therefore, many dialysis patients do not learn about their transplant options, particularly patients who are ethnic minorities. The chance of a dialysis patient being alive after five years without a transplant is only 40%. Continue reading
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