3 years ago

Financial Burden Borne by Laparoscopic Living Kidney Donors

Garvey, Catherine A., Berglund, Danielle M., Matas, Arthur J., Larson, Dawn B., Ibrahim, Hassan N., Jacobs, Cheryl L., Wiseman, Jennifer F.
imageBackground: Living kidney donors have donation-related out-of-pocket costs (direct costs) and/or ongoing daily expenses while losing income (indirect costs). Yet there is little information about how much of a subjective burden these constitute for the donors. Methods: From December 2003 through December 2014, we surveyed donors 6 months postdonation to determine their financial burden related to donation (on a scale of 1 to 10) and what resources were used to cover expenses. Results: Of 1136 surveyed, 796 (70%) responded. Among respondents, mean age at donation was 43.6 ± 10.6 years, 64% were women, 96% were white, and 53% were related by blood to their recipient. Overall, 26% scored their financial burden as 5 or higher; 8% scored it as 8 or higher. Increased expenses were associated with a higher reported burden; however, significant burden was reported by some with no out-of-pocket expenses (presumably due to lost wages and continuing expenses). The burden was scored as 5 or higher by 27% of those employed outside the home (n = 660), 15% homemakers, 13% retirees, 40% students; 28% unemployed; and 26% whose occupation was unknown. Over half (51%) of those receiving a local or (means-tested) national grant still reported moderate to severe burden. Besides grants, donors used a variety of sources to help offset expenses: dipped into savings, borrowed from friends or family, took out a loan, and/or had a fundraiser. Those with the highest burden reported using the most additional sources. Conclusions: Donors should not have to incur costs or a financial burden to donate; the transplant community should strive to make donation financially neutral.
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