What To Know About Kidney Donation Risks And Considerations
Here are some things to know before donating a kidney:
- If you decide to donate, the transplant hospital will assign you an advocate who will discuss what typically happens before, during and after surgery and answer all your questions.
- Youll want to be sure you have adequate medical insurance in case pre-donation screening finds a condition requiring treatment or you have a medical problem after the kidney removal.
- After donating a kidney, it may be more difficult to get life insurance or disability insurance, and your rates may go up.
- Women who donate a kidney and later become pregnant may have more complications in pregnancy.
- When living with 1 kidney, you’ll have annual checkups to make sure its working well. Youll also need blood pressure checks every year since it tends to go up slightly after kidney donation.
- Its common to have strong emotions after donating a kidney. You might feel depressed, even if everything goes well. Getting support after organ donation is important. Contact your transplant center about resources or find a mental health professional that can help.
- It doesnt happen often, but if you donate a kidney and your remaining kidney fails, youll be given high priority on the transplant waiting list for a kidney donation.
Leave A Legacy Of Hope Wills Annuities Planned Gifts
You can shape the future promotion of organ, eye and tissue donation saving lives of people who will need lifesaving transplants in years to come by using planned gift options that offer you a variety of benefits including a gift in your will, retirement plans or insurance policies, charitable gift annuity, trusts, and real estate donations.
of your planned giving intentions so we may thank and recognize you.
What About A Kidney Transplant
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Health, almost 200,000 people in the United States have a functioning transplanted kidney.
A kidney transplant is only done when you have no functioning kidneys. The risks of the procedure and side effects of the medications youll need for the rest of your life outweigh the small increase in function you get from a second kidney.
If your solitary kidney gets injured or sick and stops working, you might be eligible for a transplant.
No matter how many kidneys you started with, you only receive one kidney in a transplant. The transplanted kidney usually gets bigger and works harder over time. Eventually, your transplanted kidney will function almost as well as two kidneys.
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Positive Crossmatch And Sensitized Patients
About 30% of transplant patients are sensitized. This means that they have harmful antibodies which will attack foreign tissue, such as the transplanted organ from a living donor. These antibodies develop through a previous exposure to foreign tissue, such as through pregnancy, previous transplants, or blood transfusions. Sensitized patients may wait three to four times longer than unsensitized patients for a compatible deceased donor kidney.To test a recipient for these antibodies, a sample of their blood is mixed with a sample of the potential donors blood. This test is called a crossmatch, and shows how a recipients antibodies react with the potential donors. Test results can be either positive or negative. It may seem confusing at first, but a positive crossmatch means that a donor and recipient are not compatible.
A positive crossmatch results in the recipients antibodies attacking the donors which means the kidney is not suitable for transplant.
A negative crossmatch means that the recipients antibodies do not attack the donors which means the kidney is suitable for transplant.
Why Do Donors Need Health Insurance If The Recipient’s Insurance Pays For Everything
All donors are required to have health insurance in the event that any medical issues/diagnoses arise during the course of their evaluation to be a donor.
In this instance, the recipient’s insurance does not cover the donor’s medical expenses, so the potential donor must have health insurance in place to ensure that they will be covered in such a circumstance.
Kidney donation may also be considered a pre-existing condition. Although current law largely prohibits the denial of insurance based on pre-existing conditions, some insurance companies are still allowed to deny coverage for this reason. This is another reason why obtaining health insurance prior to donation is important.
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When Is A Kidney Donation Needed
A kidney transplant is used to treat kidney failure , a condition in which kidneys can function at only a fraction of their normal capacity. People with end-stage kidney disease need either dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
Causes of kidney failure may include diabetes, polycystic kidney disease , chronic uncontrolled high blood pressure , or chronic glomerulonephritis .
The Nhs Organ Donor Register
In the UK, consent is required before organs can be donated. A person can give their consent to become an organ donor after death by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register or by discussing their wishes with loved ones.
Alternatively, a person’s organs can be donated if consent is obtained after their death from an authorised person, such as a relative or friend.
Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register is quick and simple, and will only take a few minutes of your time. You can remove yourself from the register at any time, and you can specify what you’re willing to donate.
Page last reviewed: 19 August 2022 Next review due: 19 August 2025
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Can Kidney Disease Be Prevented
Seeing your healthcare provider on a regular basis throughout your life is a good start for preventing kidney disease. About one in every three people in the United States is at risk for kidney disease. Identify and manage any risk factors for developing kidney disease.
- Control your high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80.
- Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
- Eat a healthy diet. Follow a low-fat, low-salt diet.
- Be active for 30 minutes at least five days a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Take nonprescription pain relievers only as directed. Taking more than directed can damage your kidneys.
Ask Your Doctor For A Survivorship Care Plan
Talk with your doctor about developing a survivorship care plan for you. This plan might include:
- A suggested schedule for follow-up exams and tests
- A schedule for other tests you might need to look for long-term health effects from your cancer or its treatment
- A list of possible late- or long-term side effects from your treatment, including what to watch for and when you should contact your doctor
- Suggestions for things you can do that might improve your health, including possibly lowering your chances of the cancer coming back
- Reminders to keep your appointments with your primary care provider , who will monitor your general health care
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Can I Be A Kidney Donor
Both your kidneys can be donated after your death and potentially used for two kidney transplants. But, because you can live a healthy life with just one kidney, it is possible to donate one kidney as a living donor.
There are huge numbers of people needing a kidney transplant. For many of these it can be very difficult to find a suitable donor. We encourage everyone to be a donor for the following reasons:
- Your kidney will only be transplanted if it is healthy and suitable for the person who needs a transplant
- There are very few health-related restrictions and most people can donate.
Finding A Kidney Donor
Once your doctor has determined that youre a good candidate for a kidney transplant, youll need to be matched with a kidney donor who is compatible with you in tissue and blood type. There are several ways to go about finding a kidney donor.
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Fruits For Kidney Stones
Fruits For Kidney Stones is a viable and natural way of treating kidney stones that can be easily comprehended by anyone. Frukts For Kidney Stones through water therapy is the most effective, non-surgical and painless way to treat kidney stones. grapefruit, lemon and orange juice are rich in citric acid. Citric acid helps to increase the urine output from the body. This in turn helps to flush out the kidney stones from the body. Here is the list of fruits and their benefits to the kidney cleansing.
What Happens After Surgery
Your doctor will prescribe medications to help manage your pain. Theyâll also want you to get up and start moving around shortly afterward.
As with any operation, there are possible aftereffects, like pain and infection. When you only have one kidney, there’s a greater chance of long-term issues like high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about the possible problems you might face.
After donation, you should be able to live a pretty normal life. You’ll have to take pain pills for a short time after surgery. Your remaining kidney will grow bigger to help make up for the one thatâs gone. Your doctor may want you to make a few changes in your physical activity. They might tell you to avoid contact sports like football or soccer in order to protect your kidney.
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What Causes A Solitary Kidney
- Some people are born with only one kidney because the other kidney never developeda condition known as renal agenesis or kidney agenesis. A solitary kidney is sometimes diagnosed before birth by a routine prenatal ultrasound sometimes it is diagnosed later in life after an x-ray, an ultrasound, or a surgery for an unrelated clinical condition.
- Some people are born with one normal kidney and another abnormal, nonfunctioning kidney that may eventually shrink so it is no longer visible on x-ray or ultrasound before or sometime after birth. That condition is known as kidney dysplasia.
The National Donate Life Living Donor Registry
In 2022, Donate Life America is launching the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry, a national-reaching living donor registry with the goal of reducing access barriers for prospective living donors.
Individuals between the ages of 18-65 who register their decision to be a deceased organ, eye and tissue donor through the National Donate Life Registry, RegisterMe.org, will also be offered the opportunity to register their interest in being a living kidney donor.
The development of the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry is being generously funded by the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation, and DLA is working with key partners including: United Network for Organ Sharing , LifeLogics, CareDx, and the National Kidney Foundation .
Donate Life America completed the pilot phase of the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry in October 2021. A regional launch of the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry began in December 2021 and is ongoing. Check back for more updates as to the next phase of the launch.
For additional information or questions, please contact:
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How Does Living Donation Work
Because a person can live with only one kidney, living donation offers another choice for some transplant candidates. The average waiting time for a donor kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. A kidney from a living donor offers patients an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list. With living donation, a patient may be able to receive a transplant in 1 year or less. After donation, the living organ donors remaining kidney will enlarge, doing the work of 2 healthy kidneys.
Can You Live Without Your Kidneys
1 Minute Read
Medically Reviewed by Transplant Services
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs found just below the rib cage. Most people are born with two one on each side of the spine.
Your kidneys are two of the most vital organs in your body. They work to keep your blood stable, allowing your body to function properly.
Each day your kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood into urine. They prevent the buildup of waste and extra fluid, and produce hormones that help your body:
- Regulate blood pressure
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After I Donate A Kidney Will I Have Any Side Effects Or Health Problems
After you recover from the donation surgery, you should feel and be well. You can live with just one healthy kidney. Your remaining kidney will be able to do most of the work of both of your kidneys.
It is rare to have long-term physical problems from donating a kidney. But people with one kidney may have a higher chance of high blood pressure, which doctors may treat with medicine.
How To Be A Hero: 3 Faqs About Being A Living Kidney Donor
Do you have what it takes to be a hero? If you have two healthy kidneys and are in overall good health, you just might. More than 89,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant, and you can help by becoming a living kidney donor.
Living donation is when a living person a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor or even a stranger donates a kidney for transplantation to another person. It offers another option for some transplant candidates and leads to better long-term outcomes. Whats more, living donation gives donors the opportunity to be a true hero by giving someone the gift of life.
According to Tammy Wright, RN, a transplant coordinator with the Sharp HealthCare Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, living donation is extremely important because of the number of people currently waiting for a kidney transplant.
There are 89,982 people waiting for a kidney transplant, Wright says. However, in 2021, there were just 18,699 deceased kidney transplants and 5,971 living transplants. Beyond increasing the number of kidneys available to recipients, living donor kidney transplant can take place sooner, providing a way for recipients to avoid transplant waitlist times of five to 10 years.
Top 3 questions about living kidney donationIf you have ever been curious about whether living kidney donation might be right for you, read on for answers to the most frequently asked questions on being a living donor:
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What If Me And My Donor Are Not A Match
If blood types are not compatible, the donor will not be able to donate directly to you. However, the donor may consider donating through a paired exchange program. Paired exchange programs allow you to get a kidney from another donor who is not a match for their intended recipient. Paired exchange involves two living donors and two recipients. If the recipient from one pair is compatible with the donor from the other pair, and vice versa the transplant center may arrange for a swapfor two simultaneous transplants to take place. This allows two transplant candidates to receive organs and two donors to give organs though the original recipient/donor pairs were unable to do so with each other.
Figure 1:In paired exchange, an incompatible donor/ recipient pair are matched with another incompatible donor/recipient pair for a swap. Each donor gives a kidney to the other persons intended recipient.
Both donors and candidates are carefully evaluated and tested medically and psychologically to assure that the benefits outweigh the risks. It is important for both surgeries to be scheduled for the same time in case either donor changes their mind at the time of surgery. Surgeries can take place at the same or different hospitals. It can be advantageous if the surgeries take place at the same hospital though this may mean extra costs of travel and housing for one couple.
How Does The Heart Transplant Waiting List Work
A heart transplant requires a heart donation from an individual who is declared brain dead and on a ventilator. Most transplant candidates wait for some length of time because there are more people in need of a transplant than there are deceased donors. Transplant candidates are placed on the national transplant waiting list. Unlike many waiting lists, the national transplant waiting list does not work on a first-come, first-served basis. When a donor heart becomes available, transplant candidates are matched based on three factors: medical urgency, distance from the donor hospital and pediatric status. Blood type, body size and other medical information are key factors in the matching process for all organs. United Network for Organ Sharing manages the national transplant waiting list, matching donors to recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Patients are often ready at a moments notice to receive their donor heart. Transplant must occur within 4 to 6 hours after the donor heart is recovered. Following surgery, many recipients are on their feet within a couple of days and released from the hospital in 10 to 14 days. Learn more about the heart transplant process here.
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