Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let People Sell Kidneys!

In 2011, 35,031 people were added to the wait list for a kidney transplant. Only 31,626 were taken off the list that year, growing the waiting list by over 3,000 people.

Of those removed, 16,195 were taken off because they got a new kidney. However, 4,959 were taken off because they died and an additional 2,506 were taken off because they became too sick to either survive the surgery or have a new kidney make the difference (it's not clear from the source which one, or both, is the case).

About half of the individuals who are waiting for a new kidney are between the ages of 50 and 64. Their median wait time (between 2003 and 2004, the most recent years available) is 1,627 days or 4.45 years.

Dialysis cost about $75,000 per patient per year. That's $3,375,000 per patient.

Even if the market price for a kidney was $100,000, that would save not only millions of dollars per patient but, by getting kidneys faster, save thousands of lives. Every. Single. Year.

Data on kidney wait list found here.