What Processes Do You Have To Go Through To Be A Living Kidney Donor
The decision to donate a kidney is just the first step on a journey that may eventually lead to a kidney transplant operation.
Everyone who wants to donate is asked to go through a number of tests and examinations. These checks are designed to ensure that you are healthy enough to give a kidney, that your kidneys are currently working well and that you are physically and emotionally prepared for the donation. Your safety and well-being is always the priority for the medical teams and you should be aware from the beginning that there may be a number of reasons why you might not be suitable to donate. The tests and checks can take several months , which include medical, surgical and psychological assessments.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, no minimum age limit is specified under the Human Tissue Act 2004, but most donors will be over the age of 18 years. In Scotland, the law specifies that the donor has to be over 16. There is no upper age limit, and there have been donors in their 70s and 80s.
Throughout the process, anonymity and confidentiality are necessary, and most altruistic donors never meet the person who receives their donated kidney. It is, however, possible for both parties to contact each other after the transplantation, but only if both parties are willing.
Tests and examinations before the operation
General physical health
Do Live Organ Donors Have To Pay
Who pays for living donation? Generally, the recipients Medicare or private health insurance will pay for the following for the donor .
Is paying for a kidney illegal?
Paying people to donate organs is illegal in the United States and virtually every other nation. Drawing on data from a randomized survey of about 3,000 Americans, Macis and his colleagues set out to determine to what extent the American public would support or oppose compensating kidney donors.
How much does a kidney donation cost in India?
5 Lakh to Rs. 6 Lakh in private hospitals of the country. And post-treatment, the monthly cost is around Rs.
Can I donate a kidney to my husband?
You dont have to be related to someone to donate a kidney to them. In fact, one in four living organ donors is not biologically related to the recipient . Spouses, in-laws, close friends, church members, and even members of the same community can all be living donors.
Risks And Benefits Of Living Kidney Donation
People who are considering becoming a kidney donor must carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of donating a kidney.
Although the surgery itself is often a major component of this decision, other factors such as medical risks, the cosmetic result, and socioeconomic factors also play an important role in the decision-making process, as described in detail in this section.
Recommended Reading: Is Grape Juice Good For Kidney Stones
Recommended Reading: Is Naproxen Bad For The Kidneys
What Kind Of People Can Make A Donation Of Kidney
Living donors need to be between 18 and 65 years old. It is indispensable that they make this donation voluntarily.
After some exams, when everything is alright, the person can be a kidney donor.
People with cancer, HIV, hepatitis, diabetes, heart diseases, kidney diseases and sickle cell disease or any disease that compromise the kidneys cannot become donors.
Generally, donations come from parents or relatives. However, if no one from the family needs the kidney, it can be transferred to a transplant hospital and will be given to the person who is compatible.
It is recommended that there is the match between the donor and the recipient to avoid the rejection of the kidney in the new body. This compatibility is done through blood exams and white blood cells exams.
However, Dr. Dorry Segev from John Hopkins University said that an incompatible kidney transplant is better than remaining on the waiting list. Dr. Segevs research observed over two thousand patients and in eight years they had different destinations.
Most People Would Donate A Kidney
4 Min Read
Reuters Health – People might be more willing to donate a kidney if they were paid for it, according to a new survey.
Paying for organs is illegal in the U.S. But researchers say that given how many people die waiting for kidneys each year, the results suggest that compensation must be seriously considered.
The gap between the number of organs and the number of lives lost has grown and grown, said lead author Dr. Thomas Peters, of the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville. Its worse now than it has ever been.
The annual number of deaths that might have been prevented with a kidney transplant grew from about 5,000 in 2004 to about 7,600 in 2013, the researchers write in JAMA Surgery.
Kidneys from living donors are preferred, because the operation is almost twice as likely to be a success, they write. The availability of organs from living donors has fallen by 14 percent over the past decade, however.
According to the American Journal of Nephrology, living donors incur out-of-pocket expenses averaging $5,000, and sometimes up to four times that amount. The transplant recipients insurance covers the donors medical expenses, but not transportation, lodging, childcare or lost wages.
Data for the new study came from a June 2014 telephone survey of 427 male and 584 female registered and active U.S. voters with land lines and cell phones. About 70 percent were over age 45.
Read Also: A Kidney Dialysis Center Periodically
Will My Health Or Life Insurance Coverage Be Affected By Donation
Your health insurance should not be affected by donation. The Affordable Care Act has made it illegal for health insurance companies to refuse to cover you or charge you more because you have a pre-existing condition.
However, some living donors have reported either having difficulty getting life insurance or facing higher premiums for life insurance. In such cases, it may be necessary for transplant centers to inform the insurance carrier of existing data that report that the patient is not at increased risk of death because of donation.
If you already have insurance, check your insurance contracts carefully to see if living donation would affect your current policies. You might also want to consult with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about insurance law.
If you are considering donation, talk to the financial counselor and social worker at the transplant center to find out if donation will affect your health or life insurance coverage. It is important for potential donors to carefully consider these issues before proceeding with donation.
Does Insurance Cover The Costs
Medicare or the kidney recipient’s private insurance will cover the medical costs of testing and surgery, both for the kidney donor and recipient. However, most insurance plans do not cover:
- Time off from work or the cost of childcare. However, donors and recipients may qualify for sick leave, disability pay or paid family leave .
- Parking and gas
- Hotel costs during testing, surgery and recovery. However, some transplant hospitals offer free or low-cost housing.
- Travel costs, such as plane tickets
Also Check: Is Hummus Good For Kidney Stones
Legal Issues Related To Payment For Donation
The National Organ Transplantation Act of 1984 specifically prohibits the exchange of âvaluable considerationâ for a human organ .
Therefore, it is illegal to sell organs if this occurs, it is punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both.
However, the payment of âthe expenses of travel, housing, and lost wages incurred by the donor of a human organ in connection with the donation of the organâ is expressly permitted by section 301 of NOTA.
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:
Don’t Miss: Can Kidney Stones Cause Nitrites In Urine
Is There Any Assistance Available For Lost Wages Travel And Lodging
There is a chance that living donors might experience lost wages during their recovery period, which can be a big expense. Living donors are typically responsible for any time lost from work, unless their employer is able to provide paid leave or allow the donor to use short-term disability. Some donors use a combination of vacation time, sick leave and/or short term disability during their recovery period. The NKF suggests that you discuss these issues with:
- Your transplant center
- Your employer’s Human Resources department
For help with travel and lodging you may qualify for assistance through the National Living Donor Assistance Program. This program provides financial assistance to those who want to donate an organ but are not able to afford the travel and subsistence expenses associated with living organ donation.
For help with lost wages to help cover expenses such as: mortgage or rent, utilities, car payment or insurance you may qualify for assistance through the American Transplant Foundation. The maximum amount of a grant is $700.
If a living donor donates at an NKR Donor Shield Center, OR if they are involved in an NKR swap between transplant centers, they will automatically be eligible for Donor Shield Coverage. This includes:
What Limitations Will I Have After I Have Donated A Kidney
Donating a kidney will not cause any limitations in your normal daily activities. After the recovery from your surgery, you will be able to resume all of your normal activities, including exercising and participating in sports.
Donating a kidney doesnât affect a personâs fertility. For example, it wonât affect a womanâs ability to become pregnant or a manâs ability to impregnate a woman. But if a woman has donated a kidney, her risk for or high blood pressure during a pregnancy may be higher.
According to YM contributor Emily Co of SavvySugar:
âCompanies are looking to advertise on your skin, and theyâll pay a good price for it, although Iâm not quite sure if itâs worth it.â
It worked for a single mother from Utah. She sold her forehead for $10,000 to an online casino, which paid her to tattoo its URL to it.
Note: Youâll get paid less for temporary tattoos.
Read Also: Can Blueberries Cause Kidney Stones
Living Donor Kidney Transplant
Gift of Hope is a non-profit organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and services to families of donors in Illinois.
Many kidney failure patients wait years for a kidney transplant because there are not enough donor kidneys are available, but living kidney donation offers an alternative solution. Rather than waiting to match with a donor kidney on the United Network of Organ Sharing transplant wait list, you may be able to find a living donor who agrees to donate one of their two healthy kidneys to you. Kidneys from living donors generally last longer and work better than kidneys from deceased donors. At the University of Chicago Medicine, many of the kidneys donated to our patients come from living donors. Learn how to find a living donor when you need an organ transplant.
Apply For The Program
You can only apply for this program if a hospital transplant coordinator has facilitated your work-up testing, surgery and recuperation.
You must also be:
- an Australian resident with a valid Medicare card
- have donated a kidney or partial liver
- donated in Australia
- employed by a registered Australian business with an active ABN, with an employer who is willing to participate in the program
Australian citizens donating in another country are not eligible for this program. However, you can check whether the country youre donating in has a similar program. For example, New Zealand has the Live Organ Donor Assistance Scheme.
If you are participating in the ANZKX Program, you may also be eligible for this program if you meet other eligibility criteria.
Before registering for the Supporting Living Organ Donors Program:
- If you intend to participate in the Supporting Living Organ Donors Program you must read the program guidelines.
Recommended Reading: Is Ketosis Bad For Your Liver Or Kidneys
What’s Your Financial/job Situation
Generally speaking, the recipient’s health insurance should cover your screening tests, surgery, and follow-up care. But you may have extra expenses, such as gas, tolls, and parking as you go back and forth between your home and the transplant center, notes Nothdurft. Another donor he knows also had to factor in airfare, since the donor lives in New Jersey but their recipient resides in California.
You also need to consider how flexible your job is. Will your company allow you to take off several weeks for the surgery and recovery? And assuming you don’t have unused vacation or sick days to burn, can you afford to not get paid for about a month?
“I was very fortunate to have a job that allowed me to take time off and to have a good financial situation so that I could pay bills while I was out of work,” Nothdurft says.
Are You Willing To Live With One Kidney
Most healthy people have no trouble living with one kidney. You’ll probably have a catheter in for a day or two after surgery, but after that, you should urinate normally. That said, “you lose 50% of your kidney function the moment one is removed,” Vassalotti says.
The good news: The remaining kidney actually works harder and better. Within a few weeks, it should be able to do about 70% of the work that two kidneys usually do, Vassalotti says.
Once you’ve fully recovered, you probably won’t feel any different. But you will need to take some precautions that people with two healthy kidneys don’t need to worry about.
Nothdurft, for example, was advised to limit his use of pain relievers that doctors call NSAIDs , because they could damage the kidney. He also sees his doctor regularly to make sure that his blood pressure is well-controlled, since high blood pressure is closely linked with kidney problems.
You’ll also have to ask yourself how comfortable you are with fact that you’ll no longer have a kidney to spare, should you or a loved one eventually develop kidney disease.
You May Like: Which Blood Test Is Commonly Used To Evaluate Kidney Function
The Recovery And Aftermath
Recovery from a kidney donation operation can take from two to 12 weeks depending on the persons individual progress.
Traditional open surgery
If the operation was an open nephrectomy, you may be in hospital for five to seven days, but you should be out of bed the day after the operation. Surgeons use either stitches or clips to close the incisions they made during the operation and these will be removed around 10 days after the procedure.
Before you leave hospital, a follow-up clinic appointment will be made, usually for four to six weeks later. The scars from the operation may be sensitive or sore for several weeks, and some numbness around the scar is common. There will be a permanent scar. There may also be twinges or a drawing sensation around the scars for some months, but most people feel back to normal by about 12 weeks after the operation.
If the operation was keyhole surgery, recovery time is shorter and there is usually less pain afterwards. After this type of surgery you will normally need four to six weeks of recovery time at home before resuming your normal activities. Painkillers may be needed for a while, depending on an individuals symptoms. You will be asked to come in for a follow-up appointment four to six weeks after the operation.
Getting back to normal life
You should return to exercise gradually and gently and build up any exercise routine slowly.
Being A Living Kidney Donor
If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys to enhance or save someone else’s life. Both you and the recipient of your kidney can live with just one healthy kidney.
If you are interested in living kidney donation:
- Contact the transplant center where a transplant candidate is registered.
- You will need to have an evaluation at the transplant center to make sure that you are a good match for the person you want to donate to and that you are healthy enough to donate.
- If you are a match, healthy and willing to donate, you and the recipient can schedule the transplant at a time that works for both of you.
- If you are not a match for the intended recipient, but still want to donate your kidney so that the recipient you know can receive a kidney that is a match, paired kidney exchange may be an option for you.
Another way to donate a kidney while you are alive is to give a kidney to someone you do not necessarily know. This is called living non-directed donation. If you are interested in donating a kidney to someone you do not know, the transplant center might ask you to donate a kidney when you are a match for someone who is waiting for a kidney in your area, or as part of kidney paired donation. You will never be forced to donate.
You May Like: What Do The Kidneys Do For Your Body