August 7th, 2012

Transplant Centers Struggle With Donors’ Obesity

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When his mother's kidneys began to fail three years ago, Ed Guillen knew what he had to do: donate one of his kidneys to her…He was ineligible to be a donor, even before tests to see if he was a genetic match.  At 5-foot-10 and around 280 pounds, Mr. Guillen, a 39-year-old software developer in Redmond, Wash., was considered too heavy to donate an organ without potentially endangering his own health. He would need to lose more than 70 pounds, he was told, before the clinic would consider him as a candidate…"It's an ongoing struggle that I think every transplant center has to deal with," said Dr. Sandra Taler, a nephrologist at the Mayo Clinic who studies the health of living transplant donors. Rising obesity has spurred a small but growing effort to pay closer attention to the health of obese donors, whose risks are still incompletely understood.

 

NY Times by Kate Yandell

Tags: Dr. Sandra Taler, Nephrology, NY Times, Obesity, organ transplant, Transplant, Weight

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