Facebook Is a Great Place to Find a Kidney

One study finds one in eight Facebook pleas successful
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2012 8:39 AM CDT
Facebook Is a Great Place to Find a Kidney
Ricky Cisco, 25, right, donated one of his kidneys to Jeff Kurze, center, (his wife Roxy is at left), after reading about their plight on Facebook.   (AP Photo/The Detroit News, Clarence Tabb, Jr.)

People are increasingly turning to social media to search for kidney donors—and it turns out Facebook is actually a pretty great place to find one. In a study of almost 100 Facebook pages set up for the purpose, researchers found that nearly one-third had potential donors step forward to check if they were compatible, and one in eight actually snagged a donor. One site, appealing for a kidney for a young child, actually encouraged more than 600 potential donors to be tested, the Daily Mail reports.

The pages were set up by the patients in 37% of cases, by their children in 31% of cases, and by other family members or friends in 32% of cases. But some scientists are concerned that such appeals rarely warn about the downsides of organ donation—just 5% of pages mentioned medical risks, and only 11% mentioned costs to the donor. (If the risks don't concern you, click for one donor's account of why you should donate your kidney.)

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