Could More Effective Use of Kidneys Recovered from Older Deceased Donors Result in More Kidney Transplants for Older Patients?

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In the face of a severe shortage of kidneys from deceased organ donors that limits access to transplantation for many patients, about one of every seven kidneys (more than 1,500 each year) recovered from deceased donors in the United States are not transplanted. Eurotransplant, which coordinates organ distribution for six countries and a population of about 118 million, discards only one of every 20 kidneys procured for transplantation. We compared kidney procurement, transplants, and discards between January 2000 and June 2003 in the United States and in the Eurotransplant region using the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing and Eurotransplant databases to examine differences that might account for this wide disparity.

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