Friday, 11 July 2014

Kidney charity backs call for organ donor reforms

Some news from Scotland on the problems of waiting for a transplant.

So just how hard is it to get treatment do you think, once diagnosed as in need of a transplant? A PATIENT on dialysis could travel to Mars and back - twice - in the time it takes to get a new kidney. The average waiting time for a transplant is 1000 days, about the time it would take to make two trips to Earth's second closest planet, which is around 140 million miles away. So says an article in a Glasgow news paper.

With a reported 700+ dialysis patients in Glasgow alone, with one dying every week, Scotland is in need of a lot more transplant operations. The charity Kidney Research UK is urging people to sign up to the transplant donor register. Have you signed an organ donor card? Do you carry it with you at all times? Does your family or friends know this? DO SOMETHING! Now!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Longest Kidney Transplant Chain

We've spoken before about transplant chains. For those unfamiliar with the process, a friend or relative of patient A whose kidney is not a match for patient A offers their kidney to anyone else who has a friend or relative who is willing to donate to patient A, or someone else, until a chain is formed where patient A gets a kidney that is suitable.

Friend of A---> Patient B Friend of B---> Patient C Friend of C---> Patient D Friend of D---> Patient A

You get the picture? An altruistic transplant chain, not just one generous person giving to one person.

We've mentioned a long chain of about 8 patients once before and thought that was pretty cool (and pretty life saving too). But we've got news of something a bit bigger than that. A lot bigger than that!

A report here and several other news sites reports a chain of 21 transplants - yes, that's 21, not a typo! The University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital is celebrating America's longest kidney transplant chain. (Is it the longest in the world? I might check up on that, if I can work out how to.) All thanks to the transplant program at UAB and a team of more than 80 medical professionals.


Well, You will not believe it but there is a longer transplant chain that will just make you gasp - are you ready for this one? 30 - that's right, 30 transplants in a chain! Read it here!

Chain 124, as it was labeled by the nonprofit National Kidney Registry, required lock-step coordination over four months among 17 hospitals in 11 states. It was born of innovations in computer matching, surgical technique and organ shipping, as well as the determination of a Long Island businessman named Garet Hil, who was inspired by his own daughter’s illness to supercharge the notion of “paying it forward.”