How Long Will It Take To Get A New Kidney
There is no definite answer to this question. If there is a matching and healthy living donor, your child may be able to get a transplant in a few weeks or months. If no living related donor is available, it may take months or years on the waiting list before a suitable donor organ is available. During this time, your child will receive close follow-up with his or her healthcare providers and the transplant team. Many support groups are also available to help you during this waiting time.
What Happens Before A Kidney Transplant
If your child needs a kidney transplant, your first step is to visit a transplant center. The health care team will check to make sure that your child is healthy enough to have surgery and take the medicines needed after the transplant. This will include blood tests, X-rays, and other tests, and can take a few weeks or months.
If the transplant team decides your child is a good candidate, the next step is to find a kidney. In most cases for living donor transplants, a kidney comes from a close relative or friend who has a compatible blood type.
If a living donor isn’t found, your child’s name will go on a waiting list until a kidney from a deceased donor is matched to your child. The need for new kidneys is far greater than the number donated, so this can take a long time.
You’ll stay in close touch with the doctors and the rest of the health care team. Make sure they know how to reach you at all times. When a kidney is located, you’ll need to go to the transplant center at a moment’s notice.
While you wait for a transplant, keep your child as healthy as possible. That way, he or she will be ready for transplant surgery when the time comes. Help your child:
- eat healthy foods and follow any special diet recommendations from the doctor, nurse, or dietitian
- take all medicines as directed
- keep all medical appointments
Tell your doctor and the transplant center right away if is any change in your child’s health.
How Can I Donate
If you want to give your kidney to a friend or family member, talk to the doctor at the transplant center. You’ll start taking tests to see if you’re a match.
If you want to give a kidney to someone you don’t know, contact your nearest transplant center. You can find out if they have a nondirected donor program. If they don’t, ask your doctor for a list of centers that have an anonymous donor program. You can also find those programs online.
National Kidney Foundation: “How Your Kidneys Work,” “The Evaluation,” âHelpful Tips for Living Donors and Caretakers,â “What to Expect After Donation,” âGeneral Information on Living Donation.â
Johns Hopkins Medicine: “What Kidney Donors Need to Know Before, During and After Donating a Kidney.”
UCSF Medical Center: âFAQ: Living Kidney Donor.â
American Transplant Foundation: “Becoming a Living Donor,” “What to Consider Before Donating.”
National Kidney Registry: “Living Donors.”
UNOS: “Living Donation: Information You Need to Know.â
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How Can I Help My Child
Having a chronic condition can be hard for kids. Dialysis, surgery, and immunosuppressant therapy can add to the stress. Talk to your child about these changes and how you will work them into your routine. Make sure to find time to do fun things together with family and friends.
For teens, immunosuppressant therapy can be a challenge. These medicines can cause:
- getting acne or having acne that gets worse
- weight gain
- problems with increased blood sugars , sometimes requiring insulin
- high blood pressure
- increased risk of infection
These side effects are a major reason why teens are at risk for not taking their medicines after a transplant. This can be dangerous and even lead to rejection of the new kidney. Do not change or stop any medicines without talking to your doctor or nurse. In some cases, medicines can be changed to ease the side effects and still be effective and safe. Talk to about the importance of taking all medicines as directed, and help your child to do so.
How To Donate Your Kidney
This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Ziats is an Internal Medicine Physician, Researcher, and Entrepreneur in biotechnology. He received his PhD in Genetics from the University of Cambridge in 2014, and completed his MD shortly thereafter, at Baylor College of Medicine in 2015.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 36,808 times.
Whether you want to donate a kidney to someone you love or you just want to be a good samaritan, theres a lot you need to know. Donating a kidney can save someone elses life, but it is not without its risks. First, you need to do thorough research to make sure you really want to donate your kidney. Then you must endure a series of medical tests to find out if you are an eligible donor. If you pass all the tests, youre ready to start talking to your doctor about surgery.
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How Is My Child Placed On The Waiting List For A New Kidney
Talk with your childs healthcare team to see if a transplant is an option for your child. If it is, then have your childs provider refer you to a transplant center in your area. Transplant centers are located in certain hospitals throughout the U.S. Your child must complete a full evaluation at the transplant center.
Will You Be Operated On In The Same Hospital
This depends upon where your surgery takes place. Some hospitals look after both adults and children whilst others are exclusively for children.
Wherever you are, there will be a team of people caring for each of you.
The donor assessment and operation will always be performed in an adult transplant centre. This will be nearby if you and your child are cared for in separate hospitals.
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How Do I Start The Process To See If I Can Donate A Kidney
The National Kidney Foundation is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.
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© 2019 National Kidney Foundation, Inc., 30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016, 1-800-622-9010. We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the Health on the Net Foundation. Verify here
Donating A Kidney To A Child
The average waiting time for a kidney transplant for children is between six to twelve months, but for some children the wait can last up to five years.
Where a child is involved, living donors are normally a close relative with parents being the most usual donors. Grandparents or siblings can also be considered depending upon their age and aunts, uncles and other family members or close friends may also be able to donate.
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Avoiding A Transplant At All Costs
Kidney disease is not uncommon for heart transplant recipients like Lauren, according to Dr. Warren Zuckerman, attending physician with the Program for Pediatric Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure, and Transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Laurens heart transplant cardiologist. The main medication that we use to prevent rejection can unfortunately contribute to some kidney dysfunction, says Dr. Zuckerman, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
It also didnt help that Laurens blood pressure had spiked. The combination of high blood pressure and the effect of 12 years of anti-rejection medications that unfortunately can damage the kidneys exacerbated her kidney failure, says Dr. Hilda Fernandez, a nephrologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine in pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Still, when Lauren first heard her kidney diagnosis, she was optimistic that a transplant wouldnt be in her future. I was feeling great. My life was good. I still had energy and a good appetite. I was going to work out, says Lauren, who was a sophomore at Dominican College at the time. I didnt think I needed another transplant.
was physically transformed, which is the miracle of a transplant.
Dr. Rodrigo Sandoval
What Happens During A Kidney Transplant
The doctors will take a blood sample so they can do an antibody cross-match test. This is done to find out if your child’s immune system will accept the new kidney. If the test comes back negative, the kidney is acceptable. Other blood test and imaging studies are done before the transplant.
In the operating room, your child will get general anesthesia to sleep through the operation. Then the surgeon makes a small cut in the lower belly, just above your child’s hips. The new kidney is placed, and the surgeon attaches its blood vessels to blood vessels in the lower body. Then the new kidney’s is connected to the bladder.
In most cases, the old kidneys stay in place. Failed kidneys aren’t removed unless they cause problems like high blood pressure or an infection. Kidney transplant surgery usually takes about 3 to 4 hours. If your child needs more than one organ , the surgery time will be longer.
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What Are The Different Types Of Kidney Transplants
There are two kinds of kidney transplants depending on who donates the new kidney.
A living-donor transplant is when someone gets a kidney from a person who is still alive and well. It’s usually from a relative or close friend, but sometimes strangers donate.
A is when people donate their kidneys for transplant after they die. This requires people who need kidneys to put their names on a waiting list until a donor is found.
How Old Is Too Old
At many institutions, donors over the age of 60, 65, or even 70 are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Between 1990 and 2010, 219 people over the age of 70 donated kidneys, and researchers say the number of donors in this age group is on the rise.
Surgeons will make their decisions for this older group based on a potential donors health and how well their kidneys work. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or are overweight, you probably wont qualify to be a donor. Even if you dont have health complications, the surgeon who would operate on you would make the final decision on whether to allow you to donate a kidney.
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Recovery In The Hospital
- Before your child can go home, the transplant team will continue to provide care in the hospital for about one week, though sometimes a longer hospital stay is needed.
- While in the hospital, your child may have blood tests to check on their new kidney, and be given medicines to help with pain.
- The nurse will help your child walk every day , and coach your child through deep breathing exercises needed for healing.
- Some children may need to go on dialysis briefly after the transplant before their new kidney starts working fully. This does not mean the kidney is a bad one it just needs a bit more time to start working. This is more likely to happen if your child got a kidney from a deceased donor.
- Before your child leaves the hospital, transplant team members will talk with you, your child, and family members about caring for your child and the importance of properly taking their medicines to keep their new kidney healthy.
Kidney Donation Pregnancy And Fertility
If youve thought about being a living donor but plan to have children in the future you might have wondered whether donation could affect your fertility, pregnancy, child-birth and the baby. This information is intended as a general guide and should be used together with advice from your assessment team to help you to decide whether donation is right for you.
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Living Kidney Donation Is Safe
If you are healthy, donating a kidney wont make you more likely to get sick or have major health problems. Like any surgery, the procedure does have some risks. But overall, living kidney donation is safe. In most cases, donating a kidney will not not raise your risk of kidney disease, diabetes, or other health problems.
At 18 Years Old He Donated A Kidney Now He Regrets It
When I was 18, my stepfathers brother had been on dialysis for just over a year. He was thin, he exercised regularly and he seemingly was in perfect health, but inexplicably his kidneys began to fail him. Although I was just about to leave for college, Id heard enough about the misery of dialysis to decide to get tested as a possible donor. In the back of my mind, I knew that the chances of our compatibility were incredibly low because we were not related by blood. Perhaps that made it easy for me to decide to get tested.
When we received the results, I was stunned to find out that he and I were a match. The transplant team gave me plenty of opportunities to back out of the donation, and it put me through countless evaluations, physical and psychological. Much of my family was steadfast against my becoming a donor. Looking back, who could blame them? Their son-grandson-nephew was going to undergo a major operation with no benefit to himself.
However, I continued to be confident in my choice. I relied on the one fact that would be repeated to me many times: The rate of kidney failure in kidney donors is the same as the general population. Why wouldnt everyone donate a kidney, I wondered.
An uneventful recovery came and went. I returned to college and resumed a normal life. Likewise, my step-uncle did very well and is living a full and healthy life, as is my donated kidney.
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How Are We Notified When A Kidney Is Available
Each transplant team has their own specific guidelines for waiting on the transplant list and being notified when a donor organ is available. In most cases, you will receive a phone call that an organ is available. You will be told to come to the hospital immediately so your child can be prepared for the transplant.
Why Is A Kidney Transplant Recommended
A kidney transplant is recommended for children who have serious kidney problems and will die without dialysis or a transplant. Some of the kidney diseases in children that may require a transplant include the following:
Birth defects and heredity diseases. These are the most common causes of kidney failure in children from birth to age 4.
Hereditary diseases, nephrotic syndrome, and systemic diseases. These are the most common cause of kidney failure in children between ages 5 and 15.
Diseases that affect the blood vessels in the kidneys. The most common cause of kidney failure in children between ages 15 and 19.
Not all children with these diseases will need a kidney transplant. Always see your child’s healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Psychosocial Socioeconomic And Emotional Risks
Considering living donation can be scary and challenging for the potential donor.
On one hand, the potential donor may be worried about their potential recipient or may feel guilty about the health problems that person is experiencing. On the other hand, the potential donor will likely feel stress and concern related to the possibility of donating their organ, which requires them to undergo surgery themselves.
The good news is that most potential donors have similar questions and concerns. Dedicated donor teams including transplant coordinators, physicians, social workers, and psychiatrists are well-versed in helping potential donors answer these questions for themselves and cope with any issues that arise.
Some concerns expressed by many potential donors include:
- Who will take care of me/my children after I donate?
- Am I responsible for uncovered expenses such as travel expenses, childcare, elder care, etc.?
- What do I do if I feel coerced into donating?
- Will my employer allow me to take the needed time off and/or will my job be stable while I am gone?
- How will I feel if my recipient does not do as well as expected after the transplant or if they do not comply with their post-transplant regimen?
- How will I feel if my recipient is not grateful enough for what I went through to donate my kidney?
- How will I feel if the transplanted organ fails?
Living kidney donors may be at risk for experiencing the following:
Should We Accept Kidney Donations From Our Children
By James Sabin, M.D.
Ive been looking into the phenomenon of organ donation from children to parents. Since I believe our national approach to Medicare injures future generations on behalf of us in the over 65 cohort, I wanted to see how were dealing with the most tangible form of intergenerational transfer organ donation.
Heres what the Handbook of Kidney Transplantation has to say about donation from children to parents:
Parents often are reluctant to turn to their children as potential donors, yet as those parents age, it becomes less and less likely that a donor from their own generation will be available. It is useful to point out to parents that their grown children are adults who are capable of making independent decisions that the welfare of the donor will be protected in the evaluation and donation period and that, if they exclude their children as donors, they may be preventing them from enjoying the psychological gain of helping a beloved parent. Older patients will often insist that they would have been prepared to donate to their own parents while simultaneously expressing reluctance to permit their own children to donate to them.
Heres a vignette from a patient who ultimately accepted a child-to-parent donation:
James Sabin, M.D., 73, is an organizer of Over 65 and a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
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