16 Dec With chronic kidney disease rates on the rise, so is need for organ donation

With chronic kidney disease rates on the rise, so is need for organ donation

While some wait for holiday presents, others wait for the Gift of Life

Kirksville, MO—Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI), the nation’s largest nonprofit dialysis provider, has seen a rise in chronic kidney disease rates across the country, and one Missouri clinic is doing all that it can to provide support while patients wait for a life changing gift, a kidney transplant.

Between 1980 and 2009, the prevalent rate for kidney failure increased nearly 600 percent, from 290 to 1,738 cases per million [1]. Today, more than 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, the predecessor to kidney failure.

Kidney failure, often referred to as a silent killer, does not reveal symptoms until very advanced. Bill Johnson, a patient at DCI Kirksville, said the cause of his kidney disease was unknown. He had no hereditary factors, no high blood pressure and no diabetes, yet this year he joined the more than 7,000 people in the Missouri region with kidney failure [2].

“It was all very rapid,” Johnson said. “I learned that many people with kidney disease do not realize they have it. My nephrologist told me I would need to start dialysis immediately until I could get a transplant.”

There are currently more than 2,000 others on the Missouri transplant waiting list. In the U.S., more than 100,000 people are awaiting kidney transplants. Last year, only 17,104 kidney transplants took place[3]—less than 20-percent of those in need.

M. June Watson, DO, medical director of DCI Kirksville, said people at risk for kidney disease should make sure their doctors test them for hypertension and diabetes, the two leading causes of kidney disease. She said because the two treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis or kidney transplant, early education is key to prevention.

“Bill and his family have embraced his disease and are now informing themselves as best as possible so he can make his quality of life as good as it can be,” said Dr. Watson.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), 77.1% of people waiting for an organ transplant in Missouri are waiting for a kidney. In the spirit of giving this holiday season, you have the opportunity to sign up to one day, give the gift of life to someone in need just like Bill. If you’re interested in signing up to be an organ donor, please visit http://donatelife.net/

For more information about DCI Kirksville, please visit www.dciinc.org/kirksville/ or call 660-665-8372.


[1] http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/kidney-disease-statistics-united-states.aspx
[3] https://www.unos.org/data/transplant-trends/#transplants_by_organ_type+year+2014