Upstate News

April 21, 2008
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Wait for kidney transplant in Central New York now more than four years, officials say

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — University Hospital transplant officials announced today, April 21, that the average wait for a kidney transplant in Central New York is now more than fours years, up from 18 months in 2000.

Nine individuals out of 169 on the waiting list at University Hospital have been on the list for more than five years for a kidney.

The reasons for the increased wait for a kidney transplant is in part due to the growing number of people diagnosed with kidney disease and the lack of an increase in donors, said Dilip Kittur, M.D., transplant surgeon. University Hospital had 49 deceased donors last year, the same number as it had in 2004.

Kittur said the longer one remains on dialysis, the more health problems are likely to occur. “It’s imperative that we all consider organ donation, especially at this time when the need is so great.”

The staggering increase in wait time for those in need of a kidney is cause for transplant officials to urge families to have frank discussions about becoming organ donors. Officials urged families to fill out donor cards, but also to make sure individuals verbalize their decision to be an organ donor to family members.

To make one’s wishes known about being a donor, go to http://www.donorrecovery.org/ and click on donor card.

University Hospital is the only hospital in Central New York that offers kidney and pancreas transplants.

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