Only a small fraction of transplant centers nationwide are willing to accept and transplant deceased-donor kidneys that they perceive as less than perfect, leading to lengthy, organ-damaging delays as officials use a one-by-one approach to find a willing taker. Now, Johns Hopkins researchers have designed a formula they say can predict which donor kidneys are most likely to be caught in that process, a method that could potentially stop thousands of usable kidneys each year from being discarded because it took too long for them to be transplanted. Previous studies have shown such kidneys can extend the life of certain dialysis patients, if allocated and transplanted in a timely manner.
Transplant surgeons at Johns Hopkins who have reviewed the medical records of more than 20,000 heart transplant patients say that it is not simply racial differences, but rather flaws in the health care system, along with type of insurance and education levels, in addition to biological factors, that are likely the causes of disproportionately worse outcomes after heart transplantation in African Americans.
More than half of donor kidneys in the United State infected with hepatitis C are thrown away, despite the need among hepatitis C patients who may die waiting for an infection-free organ, Johns Hopkins research suggests.