Study: US throws away nearly 3,500 donated kidneys a year

A new study says thousands of kidneys get discarded each year, as millions die from chronic kidney disease. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found that the U.S. throws away at least 3,500 donated kidneys every year.

It found that between 2004 and 2014, more than 17 percent of donated kidneys were discarded.

Since the study ended, that number has only grown. In 2016, about 20 percent of donated kidneys were discarded.

More than 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and 5,000 die each year waiting for a new organ.

President Donald Trump addressed the issue in July and signed an executive order promising to transform kidney care in the U.S.

The study's authors believe this problem stems partly from transplant centers that are reluctant to take a chance on an organ that isn't in the best shape.

Also, the U.S. doesn’t have a universal method to determine which kidneys get transplanted and which get discarded.

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