As a follow-up to this recent CD post on the market for kidneys, the charts above show up-to-date data on the kidney situation from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Here's the current situation:
1. There are currently 90,363 registered candidates on the ever-increasing waiting list to receive a kidney transplant, which is an all-time record high (see top chart).
2. Based on actual transplant operations through August of this year, an estimated 16,855 patients will have a kidney transplant operation this year (see top chart).
3. Of the 90,363 patients currently on the waiting list, only about 18.6%, or fewer than one-in-five, will actually receive a kidney transplant this year (see bottom chart). That's the lowest chance of receiving a kidney for those on the waiting list since UNOS records start in 1989, and way below the 50% chance in 1989, 1990 and 1991.
4. Based on data from the last few years, there will be about 5,000 registered candidates on the list who will die this year while waiting for a kidney, and another 2,000 who will be removed from the list because they are considered to be too sick to survive a kidney transplant operation.
Bottom Line: The situation for those with renal failure waiting desperately to receive a kidney continues to worsen every year under the current policy that prohibits donor compensation. The only realistic, long-term and truly compassionate solution to address America's worsening kidney shortage is to legalize some form of donor compensation.