PBS News Explores Controversy of Compensation for Kidney Donors

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From PBS News Hour: In the U.S., Medicare spending on dialysis accounts for nearly 1 percent of the entire federal budget, and the cost is growing. On the other hand, kidney transplants are actually less expensive and offer the possibility of getting back to work and off disability, but there are not enough for every patient in need. Economics correspondent Paul Solman looks at ...

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Hepatitis C-positive Heart Transplants: Safer After All?

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As of July 5, 2018, there are 3,960 people in the United States on the waitlist for a heart transplant. That’s only a fraction of the 114,554 people who need organ transplants. There is a great need for organ donations, and physicians at the University of Washington Medical Center have initiated a protocol to help with that.

The UW heart transplant team, led by Dr. Jason Smith, the associate surgical director of heart transplantation and a cardiac surgeon, plans to transplant hearts from ...

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Education Corner – Donate Life ECHO

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DONATE LIFE ECHO: EVERY COMMUNITY HAS OPPORTUNITY
(Download PDF Version)

On a yearly basis, during the second and third full weeks of July, a two-week outreach campaign known as Donate Life ECHO is observed. This nationally-recognized initiative focuses on educating multicultural communities on the importance of donation and transplantation and registering to ...

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A Dream Starting to Come True: Wearable Kidneys

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Without a transplant, patients with kidney failure need dialysis to stay alive. Dialysis does a good job of cleaning the blood and removing extra fluid, but it takes a lot of time and can hurt a patient’s quality of life. Since the 1970s, doctors have been trying to make a dialysis machine that patients can wear. The hope has always been to free patients from a huge machine that keeps them tied down. But there were no parts small and ...

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Man with world’s largest kidneys receives transplant at Mayo Clinic

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Champion. A title Gene Okun relishes.

Now, the man once-dubbed “Baby Arnold Schwarzenegger” holds a title he never wanted.

Doctors believe Okun, a former powerlifter and bodybuilder, has the largest kidneys in the world. An average kidney is the size of your fist. Okun’s are bigger than a football.

“I can’t say growing bigger kidneys was on my list of dream accomplishments. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, I am now famous for big ...

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Hepatitis C positive lungs safely transplanted to patients

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Lungs from donors who had hepatitis C have been successfully transplanted into 10 patients at Toronto General Hospital (TG).

All patients have recovered from their transplant surgery. Eight of them have already tested negative for the virus and the last two patients have recently started taking the drug regimen.

The transplants are part of a clinical trial that is the first to assess the safety of transplanting hepatitis positive organs to non-infected patients using the ex vivo technology. Developed at TG in 2008, the Toronto Ex Vivo ...

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Education Corner – Hepatitis C Positive Organ Donors – Is That Possible?

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Hepatitis C Positive Organ Donors – Is That Possible? – (Download PDF Version)

About the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

  • RNA (ribonucleic acid) viral infection
  • Causes liver inflammation and can cause severe liver damage
  • Spread through contaminated blood
  • Half of people infected with HCV are asymptomatic and do not know they are infected

Symptoms Can Include:

  • Almost always only ...
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UChicago Medicine deploys DaVita data sharing technology to help patients on kidney waiting list

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DaVita Kidney Care and the University of Chicago Medicine today announced the successful implementation of the Transplant Waitlist Support Program, which was created to help keep waitlisted patients transplant-ready by proactively and electronically exchanging patient information between DaVita and the transplant center.

“We were able to customize DaVita’s program to fit our center and help us deliver an even better experience for our patients,” said Yolanda Becker, M.D., professor of surgery and director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at the University of Chicago Medicine. “Helping our ...

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Army doctors transplant new ear from soldier’s arm

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An Army soldier who lost her ear received a revolutionary transplant in which doctors grew her a brand new ear on the patient’s own arm.

Plastic surgeons at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) in El Paso successfully transplanted the organ onto Shamika Burrage after the Army Private lost her left ear in a one-car accident while on leave in 2016. Instead of finding a donor, surgeons took cartilage from Burrage’s ribs and carved it into the shape ...

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‘This room becomes sacred.’ The heroic and heartbreaking journey of one organ donor’s body

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The woman lay draped and still on the operating table, while nurses and surgical techs bustled around the room, placing surgical equipment on the tables surrounding her. As the surgeon moved closer to the patient, a tall man in scrubs stepped forward and cleared his throat.

“Time out,” Steven Ashley said, and the room fell silent.

He read a few words about the woman no one in the room knew, but who was the reason they were there that night. He shared personal messages from ...

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