SSM Health Medical Minute – Local physicians advocate for Living Donor Protection Act

Medical Minute
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ST. LOUIS - Last August, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to revamp the nation’s care for kidney disease patients.

At present, more than 100,000 people are on the national kidney transplant waiting list in the United States. Only about 17,000 deceased donor kidneys are available each year.

In Missouri, approximately 1,200 patients are waiting for a kidney.

Dr. Krista Lentine, director of living donation from SLUCare and SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital focuses her efforts on education and awareness for living donors. Living donor kidney transplantation occurs when a healthy individual donates one of his or her kidneys to a person with end-stage renal disease, thus sharing the gift of life.

Living donor kidney transplantation allows individuals in need to by-pass the lengthy waiting list. However, living donors will incur some barriers in their regular lifestyle to consider being a donor including appointments, finances, lost wages, travel time for care, and potentially the need for dependent care when they are taking care of the testing before they can be approved for donation.

Dr. Lentine has testified before the State Senate in support of the Living Donor Protection Act. This Act would ensure living donors are covered by insurance and can take FMLA time-off after donating, as well as sponsor commercials and education initiatives to encourage living donation.

To consider becoming a Living Donor, download the Living Donor Toolkit. Or you can contact the Transplant Center at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital at 314-577-8867 or complete our 'contact us' form. You will be asked to complete a short health history and the nurse coordinator will guide you through the next steps.

To learn more about Kidney Donation, click here.

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