On Wednesday, President Trump passed an executive order that instructs the government to overhaul the national care program for kidney disease. The purpose is to ensure that everyone with kidney failure would have an opportunity for home dialysis and early transplants.
Trump said that this plan was aimed to boost the number of kidney donors, making it simpler for people with this condition to have dialysis in their own home and facilitate the development of manmade kidneys.
“It is definitely a great moment for improving kidney health in the United States,” said President Trump. However, it will not progress overnight as some parts of the plan would require more regulations from authorities. And since a severe deficiency of organs worsens the needs for more transplants, the government also wants to relieve financial burdens for living donors.
Another change is to take important steps to support the organizations which receive deceased donations to work better. A recent study indicates that might be possible in the long term to find more organs for transplants from deceased donors each year.
Health officials have announced that they plan to change the current system that favors time-consuming and costly dialysis in most hospitals over simpler-to-do at-home transplants or care that help patients have a longer life.
“At the moment, most financial incentives go to dialysis rather than long-term survivorship and transplantation,” said a health official, whose mother had at-home dialysis before having a donor transplant.
It is estimated that approximately 30 million people suffer from kidney disease in the United States. This costs Medicare more than $110 billion.
The two main causes of kidney disease include high blood pressure and diabetes. Careful treatments could help alleviate the symptoms. But many people have their kidneys fail, which require dialysis or transplant to survive.
Around 95,000 out of the 110,000 patients on the organ waiting list require a kidney. There were around 21,150 kidney transplants last year. A small number, 6440, were from living donors.
“The longer you are on dialysis, the worse the complications are,” said a transplant surgeon.
In most cases, transplant centers do not see people with kidney disease until they have been on dialysis for a long time. And though any transplant is favorable, the best option is from a living donor as those organs can work faster, longer, and better.