Gap Widening Between Organs Available And Patients Waiting For Them

03.23.10 | FL News Team

There's a widening gap between the number of people awaiting donor organs and the number of organs available for transplant. That's the finding of a new study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The study says the number of living donors increased every year from 1999 to 2004, but then the trend reversed and the number has decreased progressively since 2004. The number of organs being donated by deceased people increased through 2007, but not enough to offset the decline. Ironically, study authors say the single largest factor in the current donor organ shortfall is that transplants have become so successful, as more doctors and patients with failing organs are opting for transplantation.

 The study identified factors contributing to the decline. Among them are donation medical expenses not covered by insurance, loss of income while away from work following a procedure, and even potential future insurability issues for those who've donated an organ. The full study is posted in the online edition of the "American Journal of Transplantation."