LKDN response to conversations about Reveres Transplant Tourism
The idea of using Reverse Transplant Tourism with KPDs to save money and lives is certainly creative and something to consider.
But before bringing in foreign patients let’s fix the current KPD system. It’s not efficient and for many it’s not fair. You could read more in the link provided at the bottom of the page. Here’s a short list of current challenges from the patients’ perspective, some I experienced first hand when I found out I had an incompatible donor.
It’s not likely the following is news to you, but it is unknown to many recipients who learn they have an incompatible donor.
- There are three different “national” KPD programs that don’t cooperate with each other.
- There are transplant hospitals that share a zip code, but not their incompatible pairs.
- Patients are told they are on a “national paired exchange list” when one doesn’t exist.
- Some transplant hospitals share their list of incompatible pairs with other hospitals that are 1000’s of miles away but not with neighboring hospitals.
- Allocating deceased donor kidneys has a known set of rules over who receives the next available kidney. There isn’t a standard of how incompatible pairs are matched in KPD programs and patients are so intimidated that they are afraid to ask about the policy.
An efficient KPD system has the potential of saving many more lives. Shouldn’t we try to fix our current system first?