Public Release: 

Donor organs may be discarded due to 'weekend effect' at hospitals

American Society of Nephrology

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IMAGE: Kidneys that would normally be made available for transplantation were less likely to be procured from donors over the weekend, and organs procured during the weekend were more likely to... view more

Credit: Mohan

Highlights

  • Kidneys that would normally be made available for transplantation were less likely to be procured from donors over the weekend, and organs procured during the weekend were more likely to be discarded than kidneys procured on other days.

  • The findings, which should influence future policy aimed at improving kidney transplantation rates, will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 November 3-8 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

San Diego, CA (November 7, 2015) -- Deceased donor kidneys are increasingly being discarded, and efforts to boost their use for transplantation are needed. A new study indicates that organs are more likely to be discarded on weekends than on weekdays. The findings, which will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 November 3¬-8 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA, indicate that efforts to save organs procured on weekends may help address the kidney shortage.

For their study, Sumit Mohan, MD (Columbia University) and his colleagues examined information from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, identifying and comparing all deceased donor kidneys procured on Friday to Saturday with those that were procured on other days of the week.

The investigators found that kidneys that would normally be made available for transplantation were less likely to be procured from donors over the weekend (89.5% on the weekend vs. 90.2% during the week). Organs procured during the weekend were also 20% more likely to be discarded than kidneys procured on other days, and those that were discarded were of higher quality than those discarded during the rest of the week. Organs procured on the weekend were more likely to transplanted at large transplant centers.

"The day of the week when a donor kidney becomes available appears to impact the likelihood of procurement and its subsequent utilization, if procured," said Dr. Mohan. "Deceased donor kidneys that would normally be transplanted over the weekend are less likely to be procured and if procured appear less likely to be transplanted even after adjusting for the quality of the kidney." He noted that weekends are typically associated with fewer available resources, which likely impacts kidney transplantation. Larger centers tend to have more resources available and the ability to continue to perform transplantation over the weekends more easily than smaller centers. "Recognition of the impact of factors beyond organ quality on the procurement and transplantation of deceased donor organs should influence future policy aimed at improving kidney transplantation rates in the United States," said Dr. Mohan.

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Study: "Discard of deceased donor kidneys in the United States: The weekend effect" (Abstract SA-PO1013)

Disclosures: Sumit Mohan receives research funding from Pfizer, Gambro. Geoffrey K. Dube is a consultant for Alexion. Stephen O. Pastan is a consultant for Retrophin and a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board for Dompe; owns a small percentage of the Fresenius College Park Dialysis unit in College Park, Georgia, in a joint venture with Fresenius Medical Care; receives research funding from Bristol Myers Squibb; and receives honoraria from Retrophin and Dompe. Rachel E. Patzer is a consultant for Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation; receives honoraria from Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute; receives research funding from the National Institute of Health, the Satellite Healthcare Normon S. Coplon Grant, Bristol Myers Squibb, and the Carlos and Margeurite Mason Foundation. David J. Cohen is a consultant for Alexion - International aHUS Registry, and Merck - Data Safety Monitoring Board; receives research funding Novartis, Pfizer, Genentech; receives honoraria from BMS, Genzyme, Astelas, Novartis, Alexion; is a scientific advisor to Alexion - aHUS International Registry.

ASN Kidney Week 2015, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for more than 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in kidney health research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2015 will take place November 3-8, 2015 in San Diego, CA.

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Founded in 1966, and with nearly 16,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

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