New rules bringing kidneys to patients

Posted at 9:46 AM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-20 09:49:20-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — A shake-up of the nation's kidney transplant system means more organs are getting to patients once thought nearly impossible to match. That's according to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing.

A year ago, the network changed how kidneys from deceased donors are distributed. The goal was to decrease disparities and squeeze the most benefit from that scarce resource.

Now the system's tracking shows that transplants have increased among the hardest-to-match, as more kidneys are shipped around the country for them.

Also, patients expected to live the longest are being better matched to the kidneys predicted to last the longest, in hopes those recipients won't need repeat transplants years from now.

But still, far more donated kidneys are needed for the thousands awaiting a transplant.