Medical News & Perspectives
December 18, 2002

Change in Kidney Transplantation Priority Will Help Organ Recipients in the Minority

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Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002American Medical Association

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JAMA. 2002;288(23):2953. doi:10.1001/jama.288.23.2953-JMN1218-3-1

There are ongoing racial disparities in kidney transplantation in the United States. While many explanations are offered, at least one medical reason is being eliminated, which should narrow that disparity.

On November 14, the OPTN/UNOS (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing) Board of Directors revised the allocation priority for tissue matching. The change means that about 250 kidney transplants that went to white patients will now be given to minority patients. Under federal law, all US transplant centers and organ procurement organizations must be members of the OPTN to receive Medicare funding. UNOS administers the OPTN under contract with the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

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