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What Are The Risks Of Donating A Kidney

No Life Expectancy Changes

What are the consequences and risks of living-kidney donation?

Donating a kidney does not affect a persons life expectancy. On the contrary, studies show that people who donate a kidney outlive the average population. Twenty years after donating, 85 percent of kidney donors were still alive, while the expected survival rate was 66 percent. This may be because only healthy people are approved to become donors, or perhaps donors take additional health precautions after donating a kidney.

Legal Issues Related To Payment For Donation

The National Organ Transplantation Act of 1984 specifically prohibits the exchange of “valuable consideration” 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 “the expenses of travel, housing, and lost wages incurred by the donor of a human organ in connection with the donation of the organ” is expressly permitted by section 301 of NOTA.

Learn more about the National Organ Transplantation Act .

Kidney Donation After Death

You can register your decision to donate your organs after death through the Australian Organ Donor Register. Kidney transplants have a high success rate and by donating after death, you will be giving someone the potential to have a longer and more active life than they would have had on dialysis treatment.A transplant from a deceased donor can be used for medically suitable people who have been stabilised on dialysis.You must be declared dead before your organs and body tissues can be used. The two legal definitions of death in Australia are:

  • brain death when a persons brain permanently stops functioning
  • circulatory death when a persons heart permanently stops functioning in their body.

The type of death and the health of the organs and tissues of the potential donor dictate how the organ and tissue donation process will occur, and which organs and tissues can be donated.

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Who Can Start A Kidney Donation Chain

Most kidney donation chains are started by Good Samaritan donors who want to donate a kidney but do not have an intended recipientthey do not care who receives their kidney, they just want to help someone.

This type of donation is also called non-directed donation or altruistic donation. It is sometimes referred to as anonymous donation because the donor is not known to the recipient and vice-versa, but the donor can choose to share their identity with the recipient of their donated kidney, and the two can communicate or meet if both agree to do so.

A kidney donation chain can also be started by someone who enters the National Kidney Registrys Voucher Program, which allows a non-directed donor to donate when and where it is convenient for them and receive up to five vouchers for family members who are not in imminent need of a transplant.

With the Voucher Program, the donor can help someone in need a kidney immediately, while also looking out for their family in case one of them ever needs a kidney transplant. If one of the family voucher holders needs a kidney transplant in the future, they can redeem the voucher to receive prioritization for a living donor kidney through the National Kidney Registry.

What Can I Expect After Kidney Donation Surgery

Successful in France, benefits of older kidney donors ...

Youll stay in the hospital for two to three days. You may experience pain, tenderness or itching at the incision sites for few days. Fatigue is also common in the first few weeks.

Most people resume their usual activities within four to six weeks. After surgery, you should not:

  • Drive for two weeks.
  • Get pregnant for at least one year.
  • Lift anything heavy for six weeks.

You should expect to do follow-ups with the team for two years.

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When Will I Meet With A Doctor

After you have decided to become a kidney donor and your crossmatch results are known, you will be evaluated by a doctor, usually a nephrologist. Your evaluation will begin with a medical history and physical examination. You will have a series of lab tests to screen for kidney function, including chemistry screen, urinalysis, and urine tests for protein. You may also have a CT scan of the kidneys to evaluate your kidneys, urinary tract, and other structures in your pelvis.

Benefits And Risks Of Becoming A Living Organ Donor

Chelsey donated a kidney to her college roommate, Ellen. Chelsey is now a 1+1=LIFE Mentorship mentor and member of our Young Professionals Group .

Living organ donations are categorized in the following ways:

  • Directed Living Organ donation
  • Living organ donors are usually between the ages of 18 and 60 year old. However, acceptable ages may vary by transplant center and the health of the donor candidate.

    The prospective donor must have several points of compatibility including a compatible blood type, tissue type, and other markers.

    The donor candidate is carefully evaluated by lab tests, physical examination, and psychological evaluation to ensure that the candidate is healthy enough to donate and that he or she is making an informed decision. The decision about whether to accept the donor is then made by the health care team at the transplant center.

    Please note: It is illegal to sell human organs for the purpose of transplantation. Federal law stipulates that no person may be paid and/or receive valuable consideration for donating an organ.

    See our Living Donor Guide for more information.

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    How Safe Is Donation

    If you are thinking of donating a kidney, it is important to consider your decision carefully. One of the most frequently asked questions is, How safe is it to live with one kidney? After all, most of us are born with two! Donor safety is a priority. Regardless of the need for kidneys, donation is not acceptable if the donor is put at excessive risk of harm, so every effort is made to minimise the chance of problems. Being a healthy person is not the same as being a suitable donor. For example, you may have been born with only one kidney and only discover this when you put yourself forward for tests. This would obviously prevent you donating a kidney, but it does not mean that you are not healthy.

    Donation is not risk-free. Your medical team will discuss the main risks with you as you go through the process and you will need to consider these carefully when deciding whether you wish to be a donor.

    This information does not cover detailed medical questions it is designed to give you general information about donating a kidney based on the advice of medical professionals and currently accepted guidance in the UK, from the research that is available to them. Your healthcare team will discuss risk with you in more detail and on an individual basis, particularly if there are certain concerns about you or your recipient because of your lifestyle, medical history or demographic, as risk must be considered on an individual basis based upon your individual circumstances.

    Things You Should Know About Donating A Kidney: Side Effects And Recovery

    Living Kidney Organ Donation

    Table Of ContentThings You Should Know About Donating A Kidney: Side Effects And Recovery

    Thinking of donating a kidney to someone suffering from kidney failure? Great! Kidney donation does not change your life in a major way. Nor does it alter your lifespan. But for a person who has suffered kidney failure your kidney could be a gift of life that makes them feel alive again.

    However, it is also important to know that the recovery time for a kidney donor could be a little stressful due to certain side effects of kidney donation like anxiety, depression, nausea etc. In this article, we will learn the truths about donating a kidney, kidney donation scar and recovery period.

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    Who Covers The Cost Of Living Kidney Donation

    The transplant recipients health insurer covers medical costs associated with donation. But insurance may not cover nonmedical expenses like missed work, child care, transportation and lodging. Be sure to check with your insurance company about exactly whats covered.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Donating a kidney can save someones life, but its a big decision. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if youre a good candidate for donation and discuss your risks. Extensive test are done to make sure your health wont be compromised. The surgery is relatively safe.

    You can register to be an organ donor at Donate Life America . In many states, you can also register through your local motor vehicle department.

    Kidney Donors Could Face Long

    HealthDay Reporter

    MONDAY, Jan. 29, 2018 — While donating a kidney isn’t likely to shorten your life or increase your odds of heart disease or diabetes, you might face a higher chance of some other health risks, new research suggests.

    Reviewing prior studies encompassing more than 100,000 living kidney donors, scientists found that donors appear at higher risk for worse blood pressure and kidney function than non-donors. Female donors also faced a nearly twofold increase in risk for pregnancy-related complications such as pre-eclampsia.

    “This study highlights the low but real risks of living kidney donation, and emphasizes the importance of careful assessment and counseling for all living kidney donors,” said study author Dr. Emanuele Di Angelantonio.

    “While this systematic review ⦠provides some important answers, the field is still a long way from offering precise risk estimates to prospective donors,” Di Angelantonio added.

    He directs the National Institute for Health Research’s Blood and Transplant Unit in Donor Health and Genomics at the University of Cambridge in England.

    More than 19,000 kidney donations were performed in the United States in 2016, the latest figures available, according to U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation. About 1 in 5 donations of all organs is from a living donor.

    The study was published online Jan. 30 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Show Sources

    Annals of Internal Medicine

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    Can I Donate A Kidney If I Drink Alcohol

    Talk with your donor evaluation team to know if you can donate. In most cases:

    • If you drink alcohol in moderation , you can likely move forward with donating a kidney.
    • If you have issues with alcohol misuse, you may not be able to donate a kidney. Drinking too much alcohol can affect your overall health.

    In Summary The Main Risks Of The Surgery For Donors Are As Follows:

    Kidney Transplant : Types, Procedure, Risk &  Cost » How To ...
  • The risk of death .
  • Negative reaction to anaesthetic or other drugs.
  • The general complications of major abdominal surgery:a) Venous blood clotb) Intra-abdominal bleeding and infectionc) Wound complicationsf) The possible need for blood transfusionsg) Risk of adhesions and blockage of the bowel
  • The possibility of short and long-term wound pain.
  • The need for a recovery period of between 4-12 weeks. Potential donors should check their sick leave entitlement with their employers.
  • The possibility of increase in blood pressure and protein in the urine.
  • The possible emotional consequences of donation: the risk of the donor feeling pressure from family, feeling worried about the future with one kidney, or feeling upset after surgery.
  • The possible family and relationship consequences of donation: the risk that tensions can arise in families around the surgery or that the balance in a donorrecipient relationship can change after surgery .
  • The emotional and psychological impact on the donor of the recipient dying suddenly or the transplanted kidney failing.
  • The risk that surgery may impact on the current or future insurability of the donor. This has to be checked by the donor with their own insurance agency.
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    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.

    Will I Be Able To Obtain Insurance Coverage After 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.

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    Your Blood And Tissue Type Must Be Compatible With Your Recipients

    Besides being healthy, living donors must have compatible blood and tissue types with the kidney recipient. The transplant team will perform tests to see if your blood and tissues are compatible with the kidney recipient. If they arent, our living donor program can also educate you about the paired donation program.

    Why Do Donors Need Health Insurance If The Recipient’s Insurance Pays For Everything

    Living Kidney Donor Transplant

    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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    What Is A Kidney Transplant

    A kidney transplant is a surgery done to replace a diseased kidney with ahealthy kidney from a donor. The kidney may come from a deceased organdonor or from a living donor. Family members or others who are a good matchmay be able to donate one of their kidneys. This type of transplant iscalled a living transplant. People who donate a kidney can live healthylives with one healthy kidney.

    A person getting a transplant most often gets just 1 kidney. In raresituations, he or she may get 2 kidneys from a deceased donor. The diseasedkidneys are usually left in place. The transplanted kidney is placed in thelower belly on the front side of the body.

    What Can I Expect Emotionally After Donating A Kidney

    After donation, living donors often report a wide range of mixed emotions, from joy and relief to anxiety to depression. The process of getting through the evaluation and surgery can be so time-consuming that donors do not always have time to process everything they are feeling. It is normal for these emotions to come to the forefront after the donation and transplant take place.

    Living donors generally rate their experience as positive. Different studies indicate that between 80-97% of donors say that in retrospect, they would have still have made the decision to donate.

    However, concerns about the recipient’s outcome can contribute to feelings of anxiety, and may donors report a feeling of “let down” afterwards. Feelings of depression among living donors are not uncommon, even when both donor and recipient are doing well.

    While extensive data on these issues is lacking, some studies have reported the following psychological outcomes:

    • Less than 1% regretted the decision
    • 3 to 10% reported depression
    • 10% reported “family conflicts”
    • 16% concerned about negative financial consequences of donation
    • 3 to 15% concerned about a negative impact on their health

    Living donors who are struggling with these issues are encouraged to:

  • Talk to the transplant hospital’s Transplant Social Worker for advice
  • Seek professional counseling or other outside help to manage difficult emotions, and
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    What Are The Side Effects Of Donating A Kidney

    Not all kidney donors undergo the same after-effects of kidney transplants. The side effects of donating a kidney vary according to different individuals. The healthcare team will be available to help you with this process.

    • Depression or anxiety after surgery
    • Emotional distress or grief if the recipient experiences any problem or dies
    • Lifestyle changes after donation

    3. Recovery Time For A Kidney Donor:

    You may need to stay in the hospital for two to three days for initial recovery from your kidney donation scars. You will be prescribed painkiller medications on discharge. You could also be prescribed with stool softener if you experience constipation.

    The recovery time for a kidney donor ranges between 4 to 12 weeks. People working on desk jobs can return to work sooner than those doing physical labour for a living. Recovery time also relies on individual capacity. Make sure that you ask your healthcare team to provide a rough estimated time for recovery.

    After getting discharged from the hospital, as your kidney donation scars begin to heal, you may experience irritation, pain, itching and tenderness in the operated area. Do not lift heavy objects for six weeks following surgery. You will be started with a liquid diet immediately after surgery, and you shall resume your original diet once you reach home.

    Important Things To Keep In Mind:


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