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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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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Researchers examine barriers to organ donation and possible remedies

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Two new collaborative papers by UC Merced Economics Professor Kurt Schnier reveal that increasing the incentives and eliminating barriers for donors — both living and deceased — would greatly improve other people’s chances of receiving life-saving transplants.

One collaboration, involving a transplant surgeon and two other economists, focused on increasing people’s willingness to be deceased organ donors. The other collaboration, involving two transplant surgeons and a public health researcher, investigated a government policy targeted at increasing living organ donation by lowering donor-related costs.

Both ...

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Francia Raisa sheds light on importance of transplant social workers

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Transplant social workers are often tasked with ensuring that donor candidates understand the psychological risks that can accompany the physical risks of living donation. Francia Raisa, Selena Gomez’s kidney donor, recently opened up to provide a candid description of her journey with physical and psychological recovery since living donation.

“[I was told in a pre-surgery conversation that] it’s going to be hard, the recipient is going to glow and she’s going to recover a lot faster ...

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Colorado bill would give living donors paid time off

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DENVER (CBS4) – In Colorado, 2,433 people are waiting for an organ transplant. Of those, 1,792 need a kidney, an organ that can be donated by a living person.

Now, state lawmakers are considering a bill to make living donations a little easier. It’s called the Colorado Living Donor Support Act. It would provide paid time off to kidney and liver living donors.

The hope is without the financial hardship, more people would be willing to donate. That’s why Colorado lawmakers ...

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Push to better track living kidney donors’ long-term health

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WASHINGTON — The big unknown when someone donates a kidney: the long-term health consequences. Now the U.S. is taking a step toward finally tracking how living donors fare over decades — just as candidates are getting some new cautions to consider.

Specialists insist the surgery seldom brings serious complications for the donor. What happens later in life is less certain.

British researchers reported Monday that living kidney donors are more likely to develop later kidney failure than non-donors — and female donors ...

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Selena Gomez reveals she received a kidney transplant

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Selena Gomez took to Instagram this morning to reveal that she received the ultimate gift of life from her best friend, Francia Raisa. The actress and award-winning artist announced she received a kidney transplant over the summer due to complications from Lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes harm to organs and tissues. She said, “It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”

Although the leading causes of chronic kidney disease are mainly diabetes or high blood pressure, other related conditions, such ...

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Yale’s Center for Living Organ Donors brings donors together, provides lifelong health monitoring

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The last few times Connecticut had snowstorms, Matt Ragaini worked marathon hours plowing and dispatching plows for the city of Bristol. His wife, Jen, marveled at his stamina. Just two years before, the couple were lying in adjoining operating rooms so that doctors could give Matt a section of Jen’s liver. The hope was that this would cure a chronic liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis that had stolen Matt’s energy and could have killed him. Before the ...

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How Six Healthy Kidneys Saved 140 Lives

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Every year, 4,500 Americans die waiting for a kidney transplant — but that’s not always due to a lack of willing donors.

In fact, many people in need of a kidney have family members or friends who want to donate. The problem is that you can’t accept a kidney from just anybody: Donors and recipients need to go through a series of medical tests to determine whether they’re a good match and whether the transplant will be successful.

So what happens when ...

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Living Donors and the True Power of Facebook Virality

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When Rochelle, a patient at Northwestern University’s Comprehensive Transplant Center, first learned that no one in her immediate family was a suitable candidate for partial liver donation, she did what most do in today’s day and age – she took to Facebook. Posting her need for a life-saving organ that could be facilitated through a living donor, Rochelle quickly fielded a candidate list of over twenty people, strangers included. By telling her story to the world, she found people who ...

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