Kidneys on flights are getting delayed like luggage
Transporting kidneys on commercial flights for transportation can put the organs in jeopardy, thanks to delays and logistical problems, Kaiser Health News and Reveal reports.
Why it matters: Organs can only be outside of the body for a certain number of hours before doctors will refuse to put them inside patients.
By the numbers: Data on more than 8,800 organ and tissue shipments were collected voluntarily between 2014 and 2019 by the United Network for Organ Sharing.
- Nearly 170 organs could not be transplanted and almost 370 endured what the system calls “near misses,” with delays of two hours or more.
- 22 additional organs were transportation “failures” and were able to be transplanted elsewhere.
The bottom line: Organ distribution lacks a centralized transportation system, relying on multiple partners like non-profits, doctors, career services and several domestic airlines to transport a kidney. It can lead to confusion and logistics problems where in the end, the patient suffers.