The need for kidney transplants has been rising dramatically.
A Phoenix medical center is using the dramatic rise of the opioid epidemic nationwide to help the growing number of individuals waiting for kidney transplants.
Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix has created a kidney transplant program to offer the option of a hepatitis C-positive donor kidney to a hepatitis C-positive recipient.
Alfredo Fabrega, the medical director of Banner Health’s transplant program in Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday, “In the past few years there have been drugs available to treat hepatitis C.”
Fabrega said the hospital hopes by offering patients the option of hepatitis C-positive donor kidney transplants, it will decrease wait list times and improve access to donor organs.
“Coinciding with the narcotic epidemic, there are a lot more donors because of people dying from overdoses that also have hepatitis C,” Fabrega said. “It makes more organs available.
“Because many of these donors are from drug overdoses, they are usually good kidneys from young people.”
Since the start of the protocol in fall 2017, the center has transplanted four hepatitis C-positive donor kidneys to four hepatitis C-negative recipients.
The average wait time from the time the patient consented for a hepatitis C-positive kidney to the transplant surgery was 54 days.
|Read on: Phoenix hospital saving lives by salvaging hepatitis C-positive kidneys|