How 30 Kidneys Linked 60 Lives
The New York Times examines a lengthy kidney transplant chain and explores how the current system continues to hamper transplantation efforts.
The New York Times: 60 Lives, 30 Kidneys, All Linked
In February 2011, the desk clerk at Mr. Ruzzamenti’s yoga studio told him she had recently donated a kidney to an ailing friend she had bumped into at Target. Mr. Ruzzamenti, 44, had never even donated blood, but the story so captivated him that two days later he called Riverside Community Hospital to ask how he might do the same thing. ... What made the domino chain of 60 operations possible was the willingness of a Good Samaritan, Mr. Ruzzamenti, to give the initial kidney, expecting nothing in return (Sack, 2/18).
The New York Times: Lack of Unified System Hampers Kidney Transplant Efforts
Many of the most prominent names in the field of kidney transplantation agree that the way to maximize the number of transplants through paired exchanges is to create a single, nationwide registry. ... And yet, more than a decade after the first organ swap in the United States, the transplant world remains disjointed, with competing private registries operating with little government oversight or regulation (Sack, 2/18).
In related news -
USA Today/Detroit Free Press: Organs From Less-Than-Ideal Donors Save Patients' Lives
For a half-century, most organ donations have come from young or middle-age people who died in auto and other accidents. ... But today, with people waiting for organs far outnumbering donations, more centers are asking patients whether they would consider an organ from a nontraditional source: a person older than 50; someone with high blood pressure or kidney issues, or someone who died after a heart attack, leaving an organ without blood, a factor that can affect its viability (Anstett, 2/20).