Whether from deceased or living donors, Kidney Transplant is necessary if we are going to save lives. Since 1987 donated organs have added about two million years to the longevity of patients living in the United States. This study conducted by JAMA Surgery, had researchers going back 25 years measuring the added years gained from all organ transplants.
The organs first among these added years are due to kidney transplant. In fact, almost half (1,372,969) of the 2,270,859 added years of life are attributed to donors giving up their kidney. The other years were gained by donated livers, hearts, lungs and pancreas/kidney combination. The majority of all these donors came from deceased individuals.
This is obviously great news, but it is tempered by the reality that only 48 percent of patients sick enough to be added to a transplant waiting list were able to procure organs. This reality resonates with dialysis patients around the world as they wait as much as eight years for a suitable donor. Never has the world needed organ donors like we do now.
There are over 100,000 kidney patients waiting on a donor list for a kidney transplant. As they enter kidney failure, many wait as much as eight years and many simply give up hope and elect to stop dialysis treatments because the quality of life, while you are connected to a dialysis machine is simply too little. I have seen first hand how cleaning the blood and replacing the life in patients can be disheartening.