Opinion: As we examine organ-transplant failures, let’s make living donations a key focus

DATE: May 16, 2023

By Dr. Thomas G. Peters
The Miami Herald

Recent news about the failures in the U.S. organ transplant system has the nation talking about a very important topic and one I have spent much of my life working to improve. As a transplant surgeon and Advisor to the Kidney Transplant Collaborative (KTC), these discussions about our transplant system give me hope that much-needed change is coming.

Approximately 89,000 Americans are currently waiting for a kidney transplant, and tens of thousands more are in need of a transplant but aren’t on the wait list yet. With problem after problem being identified in the transplant system, and many of those stemming from deceased donor transplants, now is the time to address a missed opportunity in our transplant system: living organ donations.

Data shows that while overall kidney transplant rates have improved over the past decade, the number of living donations has stagnated. Fortunately, the new HRSA database includes data on living donations. This is a change that was long overdue and a step in the right direction, but clearly, more work needs to be done to increase transplants nationwide.

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