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April 6, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Perhaps anything is possible with social media -- but even so, this story caught me off guard: A man donated his kidney to a stranger after seeing a plea on Facebook. Jeff Kurze's kidneys were failing, according to the story . His wife, Roxy, posted on her wall in desperation: "Wishing a kidney would fall out of the sky so my husband can stop suffering," the 30-year-old Web designer wrote. "So if anyone knows of a live donor with type O blood, PLEASE let me know. " Ricky Cisco, a 25-year-old comedian, saw the post and messaged Roxy, saying he wanted to help.
March 28, 2011 | By Jessica Pauline Ogilvie, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Should you be paid to part with a kidney? It's an unseemly question, but it's one that medical professionals have been grappling with as the waiting list for kidneys gets longer, supply of the organs stagnates and other solutions fall short. In 1999, just over 40,000 Americans were on the waiting list for a kidney, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, a record that's overseen by the government. By 2009, the list had grown to nearly 83,000 people, the National Kidney Foundation says.
March 28, 2011 | Marc Siegel, The Unreal World
The premise Jake Spencer (James Nigbor), a 31/2-year-old boy, is badly injured in an automobile accident and suffers brain damage. In the operating room, neurosurgeon Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) performs an emergency operation in which he cuts away part of the child's skull to relieve the pressure on Jake's damaged brain. The procedure is not successful, and brain function is lost. Jake is left on life support with no hope of recovery. Meanwhile, Josslyn Jacks, 11/2, has developed cancer in both kidneys, and her doctor says that only a kidney transplant can save her life.
March 25, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
A dangerous drug-resistant bacterium has reached Southern California healthcare facilities, according to a study released Thursday by Los Angeles County public health officials. Researchers found 356 cases of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae , or CRKP, at healthcare facilities in Los Angeles County, mostly among elderly patients, said author Dr. Dawn Terashita, a medical epidemiologist with the county Department of Public Health. "We think that this is increasing," Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, the county's public health chief, said of the infections.
March 17, 2011 | By Tami Dennis, Tribune Health
HIV transmission via live organ donation can still happen. To be more specific: It has now happened for the first time since 1989. A person suffering from kidney failure -- who had no known history of sexually transmitted infections, injection drug use or high-risk sexual activity -- was given a kidney, and HIV, in 2009. The New York City case marks the first known HIV transmission of this type in the U.S. since 1985, when laboratory screening for HIV became available. An account  in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC has the details....
March 15, 2011 | By Lisa Dillman
There was no self-promoting going on seven years ago, not a single news release when four NBA players got together to help pay for a life-saving operation for their mentor and coach. "They were not seeking attention," Kim Hughes said Tuesday. "Clearly they did it for the right reasons. When I first had the surgery, I didn't know what they had done until my wife, Christy , told me. I was totally shocked. " Hughes, the former Clippers assistant coach, was talking about current Clippers center Chris Kaman and his then-teammates Elton Brand , Corey Maggette and Marko Jaric . The players helped cover an out-of-network procedure after Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
March 3, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
A 50-year-old with Type 2 diabetes will lose an average of six years of life as a result of the disease, only one less than would be lost by a long-term smoker of the same age, researchers reported Wednesday. He or she is more than twice as likely to die of cardiovascular disease as someone without diabetes and 25% more likely to die of cancer, according to the report, an international study of more than 820,000 people published in the New England Journal of Medicine. People with Type 2 diabetes are also more likely to die from kidney disease, liver disease, pneumonia, infectious diseases and even intentional self-harm, according to the study, which was conducted by the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, based at the University of Cambridge in England.
February 25, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
Kidney transplant rules might be in for a big shake-up. The organization that oversees allocation of transplants has proposed changes that would favor giving the highest quality organs to younger, healthier people.  Right now, people register with the United Network for Organ Sharing to await a kidney from a deceased donor -- and there simply aren't enough organs to go around. "In a perfect scenario, all who need a kidney transplant would receive one without delay," the proposal says.
February 18, 2011 | By Alan Zarembo and Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
USC University Hospital halted kidney transplants last month after a kidney was accidentally transplanted into the wrong patient, according to a spokesman for the program that coordinates organ transplants in Los Angeles. The patient who received the wrong kidney escaped harm, apparently because the kidney happened to be an acceptable match, said Bryan Stewart, spokesman for the program, OneLegacy, which was notified of the error by the hospital. The hospital, which performs about two transplants a week, confirmed in a statement that it had voluntarily halted transplants Jan. 29 after a "process error" was discovered.
February 12, 2011 | By Amy Wallen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
What makes the ideal gift this Valentine's Day? Flowers or chocolate? A romantic picnic? How about a kidney? At parties, Angela Balcita tells us in her memoir "Moonface," she and her boyfriend Charlie have a comic routine they tell about how they are joined not at the hip, but at the kidneys. Charlie provided the most unexpected kind of gift ? one of his own kidneys ? to help Balcita, who learned in college that she had glomerulonephritis, a disease that affects how the kidneys filter blood.
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