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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

Best New Product or Service HONOREE: Keck Medicine of USC

 

More than 110,000 people in the United States are on the waitlist for lifesaving organ transplants. However, there is a national shortage of available viable kidneys and livers for people on the transplant waitlist, highlighting the need for more living donors. Living donor transplants, where donors either donate one of their two kidneys or part of a liver to a patient, allow patients to receive an organ sooner, improving their chance of survival. Yet nationally, living donor transplants make up only approximately 30% of kidney transplants and 5% of liver transplants.

Each year Keck Hospital of USC assesses some 250 potential living kidney donors and 150 potential living liver donors, typically family or loved ones of the person needing the transplant. Approximately 30% of these donors are rejected due to obesity-related conditions. To improve the health of would-be donors, in the fall of 2021, the USC Transplant Institute of Keck Medicine of USC launched a unique living donor wellness pilot.

The Living Donor Wellness Program provides the needed support for these donors to not only become healthy for surgery, but for the rest of their lives.Without interventions, some of these would-be donors themselves will need a liver or kidney transplant themselves one day.

The program also aims to reduce health disparities in the local community. Keck Medicine serves a large Latinx population, and many of those wishing to become a living donor are Latinx. These efforts are even more crucial because the Latinx community has disproportionately higher rates of obesity and diabetes than other population groups.

 

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