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Big Changes Could Be Coming to Kidney Transplant Policy

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - In a follow up to a story you heard earlier on KMOX, there may be some big changes coming in the kidney transplant policy.

Thursday we learned about thousands of donated kidneys going to waste due to what some call a poor allocation policy. Now, the group that’s in charge of that – the United Network for Organ Sharing – is asking for public comment on a possible change that would do a better job matching donated kidneys with appropriate patients.

Washington University’s Dr. Stuart Sweet is a transplant director at St. Louis Childrens Hospital and a member of the national UNOS board. He says UNOS is looking for public comment on a new process which should better allocate the organs to those who need them the most.

“It first takes advantage with an understand of which kidneys are more likely to function long and which kidneys are less likely to function long and tries to match those kidneys with the patients who would do best with them,” Sweet said.

“Patients who are likely to benefit the longest from a long-functioning kidney, get offered those long-functioning kidneys first. And the patients who are less likely to have a long benefit from a kidney transplant are offered some of these transplants that the system in the past might not have been able to use.”

In other words, making sure the fittest kidneys would be given to those likely to live the longest with the donated organ.

Any change in policy isn’t expected till later next year.

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