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Published On January 28, 2015

POLICY

Kidneys Wanted

A shortfall has repercussions in policy and an international black market.

101,000+

Number of people in the United States currently waiting for a kidney transplant. The average  wait time for a kidney from a deceased donor  is three to five years.

 

5–10

Percentage of transplanted kidneys worldwide  that probably come from the black market, according to the World Health Organization. The illicit global organ market is estimated to be between $600 million and $1.2 billion.

 

2,000

Approximate number of kidneys sold and transplanted per year in Pakistan. Two-thirds  are estimated to go to foreigners engaging  in “transplant tourism.”

 

48

Percentage of American adults registered as organ donors. States vary widely: 84% of Montana residents are registered as organ donors, but only 18% of Vermont residents are.

 

13,000

Number of names added to New York State’s  donor list in the year after it enacted Lauren’s Law. The law makes it mandatory for driver’s license applicants to answer whether or not they would like to be organ donors, rather than skipping the question and opting out by default.

 

8.9

Percentage by which the supply of available kidneys could rise if hospitals harvested optimal organs more frequently from patients declared to be in cardiac death (the irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions) as well as those in brain death (the irreversible cessation of brain activity). Brain death is the most common standard.