Every day, 12 Americans die while waiting for a kidney transplant. In what will be an especially hard pill to swallow for the 93,000 Americans currently on the waiting list, about 10 donated kidneys are discarded in that same period, reports USA Today. A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine found that 17.9% of kidneys donated in the US over the decade ending in 2014 were rejected (28,000 kidneys in all), compared to 9.1% in France. In 2016 alone, about 20% of 3,631 donated kidneys in the US were discarded, per CNN.
France, it turns out, is more willing to use kidneys from older donors or those who have an ailment such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or Hepatitis C. Researchers cite the "intense regulatory scrutiny of US transplant programs, which may lose credentials if their one-year death and graft failure outcomes exceed predicted outcomes." Meaning, the programs don't want to risk their credentials and opt to use only organs in the best condition. But patients "using kidneys from diabetic donors do remarkably well," study co-author Sumit Mohan of the Columbia University Medical Center tells USA Today. (Read more kidney transplant stories.)