Program may help increase numbers of live kidney donors

November 17, 2016, American Society of Nephrology

A new program may help overcome common barriers to finding living kidney donors. The program will be highlighted at ASN Kidney Week 2016 November 15-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

Boosting organ donations from living donors would help reduce the shortage of organs for transplantation. In the Live Donor Champion program, each wait-listed patient identifies a person to be their Live Donor Champion—a friend, family member, or community member willing to advocate for the patient. Clinicians provide both the patient and the Live Donor Champion with educational materials, business cards, and other resources.

Elizabeth King, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University), and her colleagues conducted a study that included 163 adult kidney transplant candidates who participated in the program. Participating individuals left with increased knowledge of live donation and comfort approaching others about live donation. The program also boosted live donor referrals: there were a total of 81 referrals, and participation in the program was associated with a 5.5-fold increase in having at least 1 donor referral compared with matched controls on the waiting list.

"Our results suggest that the Live Donor Champion may ultimately help wait-listed patients identify potential live donors," said Dr. King.

Explore further: What happens when a living kidney donor needs a transplant?

More information: Study: "The Live Donor Champion Program: A Novel Approach to Identifying Live Kidney Donors" (Abstract Number 6048)

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