Thursday, May 28, 2009

END THE WAIT! A Multi-Faceted Collaborative Initiative to End the Wait for a Kidney Transplant

From Medscape Pulmonary Medicine

From The National Kidney Foundation > NKF In The Spotlight

There is an ongoing and urgent need to increase the number of donated organs and improve transplant outcomes in the United States. To address this complex problem, the National Kidney Foundation has developed a comprehensive action plan to increase the number of transplants for kidney patients—and to END THE WAIT!

This groundbreaking program will serve as a roadmap to implementing tested and proven strategies that will effectively end the wait for kidney transplants in 10 years. By collaborating with many organizations, government agencies and individuals, NKF's END THE WAIT! recommendations will eliminate barriers, institute best practices across the nation, improve the transplant system, cover the cost of donating an organ, reduce regional and ethnic disparities and increase living and deceased donation throughout the United States.

This initiative will end the long wait for a transplant that has subjected too many patients to deteriorating health, poor quality of life and even premature death. Our efforts will begin immediately and will continue for years. By working together and focusing on the big picture and real needs of our patients, we will have a dramatic impact on the health of kidney patients across the country.

The END THE WAIT! recommendations focus on four key areas, including:

  • Improving outcomes of first transplants, therefore reducing the need for second transplants through measures such as covering the cost of needed immunosuppressive drugs for life; educating chronic kidney disease stage 4 patients about early transplantation and treatment options; and implementing the new KDIGO Guideline on the Care of the Kidney Transplant Recipient;

  • Increasing deceased donation through training of hospital personnel about the optimal care for potential donor families and by recovering and utilizing organs from Extended Criteria Donors (such as donors who were older or sick) and from donors who have experienced cardiac death in addition to those who were brain dead;

  • Increasing the number of living donors by ensuring that they are reimbursed for all expenses involved in the donation, including lost wages, by providing access to health care and life insurance coverage and by offering them state-of-the-art medical care that ensures the quickest post-surgical recovery time;

  • Improving the system of donation and transplantation throughout the U.S. by eliminating regional variations in access to transplantation and follow-up care and racial disparities in donating, getting on the waiting list and receiving a transplant.

This initiative was developed in consultation with national experts in the field and NKF's constituents, including kidney patients, potential donors, living donors and family members of deceased donors.

For more information, visit

The National Kidney Foundation, Inc. (NKF) is the major voluntary health organization dedicated to preventing kidney disease, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.

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