Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Winter 2013 - (Page 1)

A Lifesaving Gift Innovative UMMC program increases odds of matching kidney donors and recipients D uring the holiday season, giv- says David Leeser, ing is often at the forefront of MD, associate profes- everyone's mind. Whether to sor of surgery at the family, friends, co-workers or University of Maryland strangers, it's a time when peo- School of Medicine ple are more open to extending and chief of kidney/ themselves to someone in need. pancreas transplant at David Leeser, MD There are an infinite number of ways University of Maryland to give, but to bestow the gift of life is Medical Center. "It can undoubtedly one of the greatest. For be linked, at least in part, to increases thousands of Americans waiting for in diabetes, obesity, hypertension and organ transplants, the "gift of life" is a aging in our population." What's more, hope that they hold on to for months- kidney disease can progress for years sometimes years. Waiting for any organ without detection, hampering efforts to can take many months, but the wait prevent irreversible kidney failure. for a kidney is especially long. It is the Those who lose 90 to 95 percent of organ that is most in demand. Accord- kidney function are considered to have ing to the United Network for Organ end-stage renal disease. An option Sharing, about 90,000 people are on for treating permanent kidney failure the waiting list for kidneys, but fewer is dialysis, the mechanical process of than 17,000 receive one each year. In removing waste and excess water from Maryland, more than 2,000 people are the blood. While dialysis is life preserv- waiting for kidneys, and the list gets ing, it is also taxing on the body and longer every year. spirit. The process can require up to Why the need for more kidney trans- four hours three times per week, and plants? "There is a growing number of it's not uncommon for patients to be on Americans with chronic kidney disease," dialysis for years. Conversely, the gold

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Winter 2013

Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Winter 2013