Archive for the 'In the News' Category

So in Ireland, about 100 living donors and their recipients are sitting around waiting to have transplant surgery scheduled because of a lack of availability of doctors and operating rooms. It could take up to three years for their surgeries to take place, says The Herald.

Now, this just makes Kidney Mama mad. So mad that she is talking about herself in the third person, which she really hates.

The Toledo, Ohio, hospital that accidentally threw away the kidney of 17-year-old Paul Fudacz, who was donating it to his sick sister, wants the family’s negligence lawsuit dismissed. Really?

I don’t know what kind of settlement they’ve offered, if any, but this looks really bad.

End-stage renal disease makes people really sick. So does dialysis. In fact, a 10-year study mentioned in this article found that 75% of people in need of a kidney are unemployed for at least part of their illness.

But unemployed people are less-than-half as likely to be put on the transplant list as employed people. What? Yeah.

The study says that it may be because they don’t seek medical care as early, or it may be because they are viewed as higher-risk candidates because they may not be able to afford anti-rejection meds.

Today’s Kidney Mama Lecture

There are a few factors that determine when you get a kidney from the UNOS list, but the biggest one is how long you have been on the list. Not how ill you are, how long you have been waiting.

Be proactive. If one center won’t put you on the list “yet,” try another. You do not need to be in complete kidney failure to be listed.

Consider Medicaid if you are out of work. It will pay for your transplant and drugs for three years. Forget your pride and think about the effect on your family if you continue to be this sick.

And eat your vegetables.

So if you’re on the kidney list, you may know that where you live affects how long it takes to get a kidney by quite a lot. Sometimes that’s because the official zones are not drawn to reflect the amount of need.

A new service called OrganJet can help you figure out where your chances are best and help you get yourself registered there.

Two artists at a South Wales tattoo shop are affected by kidney disease and are doing a monthly fundraiser where you get get a kidney bean or other small tattoo for a low, low price, and the money all goes the Kidney Wales Foundation. Fun!

Adorable. Longtime friends from Cherokee, Iowa, describe themselves as brothers, like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Twins.” The little one gives the big one a kidney, and then they punch each other in the arm. OK, I simplified, but that’s the basic deal.

China says it’s phasing out the use of executed prisoners’ organs in transplants. That’s a good thing, because there was some evidence that they were executing particular prisoners to get the organs. The story says they’re now relying on non-prisoner deceased donors. No word on living donors.

For anyone considering being a living kidney donor, check out this article on how to manage your life afterward. I learned that a no-carb, protein diet is bad. Not that I was considering one.

And it also includes a photo that shows the scars. They fade a lot though.

The Ventura Star did a very nice package on the absolute outrage that is Medicare funding for kidney patients.

Here’s how Medicare works. You can live on dialysis, which will tear down your health and for most people leave you too exhausted to do much of anything; Medicare will pay $71,000 a year for that, no problem. You can get a kidney transplant for about $100,000, and Medicare will pay for that, too.

For $17,000 a year, Medicare could pay for anti-rejection drugs. And it does, for the first three years after a transplant. And then for a lot of people, the organ fails because Medicare runs out and the people haven’t found other health insurance. That’s OK. Medicare will pay for another $100,000 transplant, if they can find an organ donor.

It makes sense in theory. With a new organ, you are healthy and should be able to get a job. But if you haven’t worked for the umpteen years you were on the waiting list because dialysis made you so sick, it’s a little hard to find a great job with full benefits. You can’t afford to take a low-level job with little or no benefits, because the Medicare will stop and your kidney will fail now.

I can believe that the government would limit anti-rejection meds to save money, but it’s costing taxpayers more.

My kidney daddy says he won’t let this happen to our kidney; he will think of something.

Meanwhile, there is a senator, mentioned in this part of the story package, who keeps proposing a bill that would provide lifetime coverage for anti-rejection drugs. Guess who opposes it: Big Dialysis. That’s just evil.

I’m not so political; I don’t write my congressional reps. But I’m going to write all of them and tell them my story and ask them to please ensure that my donated kidney will live on.

I’m so happy to see that Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writers Andrew Conte and Luis Fabregas were honored for “Failure to Inform,” their series on the failure of the medical system to get eligible dialysis patients on the kidney transplant list. Papers find it hard to fund investigative work at all, these days, so this is especially laudable.