Kidney Donations: are all the kidneys even transplanted?

5,000 people out of the 93,000 U.S citizens, who await kidney transplants, die yearly—yet it was recently found by a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that the U.S disposes off at least 3,500 kidneys yearly.

Kidney donations in the U.S and France, from 2004 to 2014 were looked at for their use. Survivability outcomes were ignored by researchers, for transplant recipients for determining success rates for every country.

From 2004 to 2014, the number of donated kidneys was 156,089 in the U.S, and 27,987 (17.9%) of the kidneys were discarded. In comparison with France, the number of donated kidneys was 29,984 and 2,732 (9.1%) of those were discarded.

The researchers stated that doctors in France were more inclined toward using older kidneys or of donors with other illnesses like diabetes or hypertension in comparison with U.S. doctors. They added that they had found that in comparison with France, the age and [Kidney Donor Risk Index (KDRI)] of U.S. donor kidneys was stable from 2004 to 2014, while the French responded to shortage of organ by starting to accept kidneys with low quality;  they specifically preferred aged donors.

For example, the research stated that 36.51 years was the average age of kidney donors in the U.S from 2004 to 2014, compared with France whose average was 50.91 years.

The researchers came to the conclusion that if the U.S had taken the offer from Franc, they could have made use of 17,435 kidneys, and subsequently could have generated 132,445 more years of life in that period.

Experts say that US hospitals go for a risk adverse approach regarding kidney transplants.

The researchers stated that an important reason the U.S does not accept kidneys of low quality is because there is intense regulatory scrutiny of transplant programs of the U.S., which might lose credentials if results of their death and graft failure of one year exceeded the predicted outcomes. Subsequently, transplant centers in U.S. are inclined toward being more risk-averse.