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Who Can Donate A Kidney

What Is Living Donation

Chandler woman in desperate need of a kidney donation

Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ for transplantation to another person. The living donor can be a family member, such as a parent, child, brother or sister .

Living donation can also come from someone who is emotionally related to the recipient, such as a good friend, spouse or an in-law . Thanks to improved medications, a genetic link between the donor and recipient is no longer required to ensure a successful transplant.

In some cases, living donation may even be from a stranger, which is called anonymous or non-directed donation.

How Long Do Kidney Transplants Last

There are a number of factors which affect how long a transplanted kidney lasts.

These include whether or not the kidney came from a living donor, how well the kidney is matched in terms of blood group and tissue type, and the age and overall health of the person receiving the donation.

If you have a kidney transplant that fails, you can usually be put on the waiting list for another transplant. You may need dialysis in the meantime.

Is It Worth Donating A Kidney

A large study of the long-term effects of kidney donation had good news for people who donate kidneys. Doctors reported that living kidney donors can expect to live full, healthy lives. Their long term survival rate was similar to non-donors and they did not have an increased risk of kidney failure.

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To Become A Living Kidney Donor You Need To:

  • Be healthy
  • Have an emotional connection with or be related or close to the person awaiting a kidney
  • Be an adult capable of understanding the potential risks and able to consent to the donation
  • Have a blood type compatible with the recipients. In the case of incompatible blood types, you must be willing to consider a paired living-donor exchange, which could enable the transplant to take place nonetheless for more information on this topic, refer to the section entitled The Possibility of a Paired Donation.

Live Donor Kidney Transplant Requirements

Safe To Donate Kidney For A Loved One?

The specialists at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center can help you understand the requirements for live donor kidney transplantation.

To become a live donor, you must:

  • Be over age 18
  • Be willing to commit to the pre-donation evaluation process, surgery and the burden of recovery
  • Be in good health and psychological condition
  • Have a compatible blood type
  • Have normal kidney function

In certain situations, you must meet additional requirements to become a live donor. You may have to do this if you:

  • Are an incompatible cross-match
  • Have a body mass index greater than 30
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a history of kidney stones
  • Have an incompatible blood type

You cannot be a live donor if you:

  • Are under age 18
  • Have heart disease, diabetes or cancer
  • Have chronic kidney problems

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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.

Who Makes A Good Donor For Kidney Transplant

Kidney donors do not need to be related to the recipient, although they often are related. They can be friends, coworkers, members of the same religious group or other organization, or any other type of relationship. While many people are willing to be living donors, not everyone can become a living donor. Donors are carefully and thoughtfully evaluated in order to avoid unwanted medical or psychological outcomes.

While the individual circumstances of each potential donor are considered and testing must be done to determine compatibility, all potential donors must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Genuinely willing to donate
  • In good general health and reasonably physically fit

Certain medical conditions can make it likely a person will not be healthy enough to be a kidney donor but many other conditions may be acceptable . It is best to ask rather than assume someone cannot be a donor.

Individuals considered for living kidney donation are usually between 18 and 65 years of age. Gender and race are not factors in determining a successful match. Hypertensive donors over the age of 50 may be eligible under certain conditions. While the risk to the donor is minimal, there is always some degree of risk associated with any surgical procedure. The procedure is done laparoscopically which helps minimize discomfort and ease recovery after the procedure. Donors undergo an education process about the operation and its risks, and are able to confidentially decide not to donate at any time.

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Transplant Surgery For Children

  • A child older than 2 years of age can get an adult kidney, as long as the kidney fits in their body.
  • The new kidney is usually placed in the childs lower right side of the stomach area.
  • In smaller children, the new kidney is placed in the middle of the childs stomach area.
  • The childs own kidneys are usually not removed.
  • The surgeon will use the donors ureter and attach it to the childs bladder.
  • This surgery can take about four hours.

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What Are The Types Of Living Kidney Donation

How to Become a Living Donor for Kidney Transplants

There are two kinds of living kidney donation:

Living related : Donation from parents and sibling.

Living unrelated: Donation from friends or from person who isnt related by blood to the recipient.

Different types of kidney donation include:

  • Directed: You choose who gets your donated kidney.
  • Paired kidney exchange: Organ transplants work best when the donor and recipient have the same blood type or tissue type. If you and the recipient arent a compatible match, you can donate your kidney to someone else who is a match. In return, a family member or friend of the recipient donates a kidney to your loved one.
  • Nondirected or altruistic: You dont know the person who gets the donated kidney. Instead, you choose to help someone unconditionally.

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Living Kidney Donor Transplant

Kidneys for transplant may come from either a living or deceased donor. When a living donor’s kidney is removed, the remaining kidney enlarges slightly and performs the same amount of work as the previous pair.

As with any major operation, there is a chance of complications. However, kidney donors have the same life expectancy, general health and kidney function as non-donors. Donating a kidney doesn’t affect a woman’s ability to have children. Any healthy person can safely donate a kidney.

Having a living donor benefits patients in several ways:

  • Better long-term results
  • Shorter wait time until transplant
  • Ability to plan surgery at a convenient time
  • Lower risk of complications or organ rejection and better early function of the transplanted kidney
  • 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.

    The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Charity Seal provides the giving public with an easily recognizable symbol which certifies that the National Kidney Foundation meets the comprehensive standards of America’s most experienced charity evaluator.

    © 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

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    Donor Eligibility And Evaluation

    Potential donors must meet certain criteria to be considered. They must be at least 18 years old and must not have any of the following:

    • Uncontrollable hypertension
    • History of pulmonary embolism or recurrent thrombosis
    • Bleeding disorders
    • Chronic lung disease with impairment of oxygenation or ventilation
    • History of melanoma
    • Bilateral or recurrent kidney stones
    • Chronic kidney disease of stage 3 or less
    • Proteinuria, or high levels of protein in the blood (more than 300 mg/d, excluding postural proteinuria
    • HIV infection

    The donor must be in excellent health, well informed about transplantation and able to give informed consent. Before donating a kidney, the person must successfully complete a full medical, surgical and psychosocial evaluation.

    The evaluation will include tests to ensure that the donor and recipient have compatible blood and tissue types. Some patients have several family members who are compatible potential donors. In other families, none are suitable. UCSF offers several programs to help patients with willing but incompatible donors .

    But Yes Kidney Donation Is A Deeply Rewarding Experience

    Kidney Transplants Before Dialysis

    Of course, the experience was deeply rewarding. When I see my father playing with my kids, it makes me so happy to know that he can do that because of what I chose to do. And when I talk to my parents about the next trip they are planning in retirement, it is wonderful to know that I played a role in making it happen. Best of all, when my kids get older and truly understand what I chose to do, they will view it as a normal and expected thing that you do for others.

    I am proud of the decision I made. I feel great about it. The feeling of fulfillment that I have about the experience was not at all the reason I did it. But it is a lovely side benefit.

    Ilan Goldenberg is the director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In July 2018, he became a live kidney donor. If you are considering kidney donation, find out more from the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Living Donor Institute, the American Kidney Fund, or the National Kidney Foundation.

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    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.

    Donating A Kidney To A Child

    If youre an adult, you can donate a kidney to your child, even if he or she is very young. This donation will give your child the best odds of living a normal life for years to come.

    Most of the time, the donor is one of the parents, but aunts, uncles and other family members can also donate one of their kidneys, and the patients brothers and sisters can donate as long as theyre adults. A child can also receive a kidney from a family friend or through a donation chain. In the latter case, the person who donates a kidney to the child has to be in the same age range as the childs parents.

    If the young patient suffers from a genetic disease, the donor must not have the same disease, a possibility that needs to be ruled out by a number of tests.

    Before the transplant takes place, the child needs to have reached a certain height and weight, typically 1011 kg, as the childs abdomen needs to be large enough to accommodate an adult kidney. This assessment will be made by the young patients medical team. Using intensive nutritional therapies and growth hormone, the target weight can be reached quickly. In the meantime, the pre-transplant medical assessment can be carried out before the patient reaches the target weight.

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    Pig Kidney Raises Hope


    Every week a Swede dies while waiting for an organ donation. For decades, science has dreamed of being able to transplant organs from animals, but the problems were insurmountable – until now. A pig kidney has given hope to awakening in the world’s transplant surgeons. – Testing an animal organ in a human is a big step, says Bo-Göran Ericzon, professor of transplant surgery at Karolinska Hospital.

    At Langone University Hospital in New York in September, a brain-dead woman received a pig kidney connected to her bloodstream.

    The kidney immediately began to produce urine, but what made the experiment described as a breakthrough was that it was not rejected during the 54 hours the experiment lasted.

    In November, the experiment was repeated – also successfully.

    The world’s transplant surgeons – and kidney disease – are following with interest Robert Montgomery’s research into xenotransplantation, that is, the use of animal organs in humans.

    And Montgomery sees great opportunities.

    – The idea is to identify individuals who have a low probability of receiving a donated human kidney and at the same time have a poor prognosis for dialysis treatment.

    What Happens When Kidneys Stop Working

    Can I donate a kidney if I’m not blood type compatible?

    The kidneys remove waste products from our blood. They also control the levels of salt and fluid in our bodies. Sometimes an illness or a disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can cause the kidneys to fail. When this happens, it is called end-stage kidney disease, because the kidneys are nearing the end of their ability to work correctly.

    When the kidneys stop working, the patient must have some type of treatment to remove the waste products from the blood. One option is a kidney transplant. The kidney can come from a healthy living person or from someone who has recently died . Dialysis is another option. Dialysis uses a machine to remove waste products from the blood. For those who are eligible, transplant from a living donor is the best option.

    How does living kidney donation work?

    A person who donates a kidney to someone in need is called a living donor, and a person who needs a kidney is called a transplant candidate.

    Any adult who is in good health can be assessed to become a living donor. Every potential donor must have a complete medical checkup to make sure they are healthy enough to donate a kidney to a person in need.

    Types of living donation

    Directed donation

    This type of donation occurs when a potential donor knows a transplant candidate and is a match to that person. Directed donors can be biologically related to the transplant candidate or unrelated .

    Non-directed anonymous donation

    What are the advantages of living kidney donation?

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    What Are The Benefits Of Living Kidney Donation

    It can take up to three to five years for someone on the kidney transplant waitlist to get a kidney from a deceased donor. During this time, theyre on dialysis. Sometimes, a persons health declines, making them ineligible for a transplant. A living donor can cut this wait time.

    People who receive a kidney from a living donor reap other benefits:

    • Less risk of rejection: A kidney from a family member is often a better genetic match than a kidney from a stranger. As a result, theres less risk of organ rejection.
    • Longer organ life: Living donor kidneys can last 15 to 20 years. Kidneys from deceased donors function for about 10 to 15 years.
    • Faster function: A kidney from a living donor begins working quickly after transplantation because its out of the body for a short time. Some people who get kidneys from deceased donors may need dialysis until the transplanted kidney starts to work.

    I Understand That Lpchs Kidney Transplant Program Prefers Living Donor Transplants Why

    This transplants more kidneys from living donors than the average for other centers in the United States. The data show that deceased-donor recipients suffer twice as many episodes of acute organ rejection as do living-donor recipients in the first three years following transplantation. This finding leads to the expectation that deceased-donor recipients will be more at risk of transplant rejection over the long term than will living-donor recipients. As a result, the Kidney Transplantation Program prefers living-donor transplants.

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    Who Will Care For Your Child Whilst You Are In Hospital

    You will need to plan for the care of your child whilst you are in hospital well in advance and your transplant team can help you to do this. In some families the non-donating parent stays with the child but a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or close family friend may be nominated instead. Whoever it is, it needs to be someone both you and your child feel comfortable with and who understands what is involved in being with your child in hospital.

    You can speak to your childs doctor or nurse about this and they will be able to give you more information to help you decide. It is important to make childcare arrangements for any other children you may have and for some help at home immediately after you leave hospital.

    How To Become A Living Kidney Donor At Iu Health

    Living Kidney Donation

    To be considered for living kidney donation, the first step is to complete and submit the required evaluation form below. In this confidential online form, you will provide detailed personal and family medical history.

    A living donor coordinator will contact you within five business days to review your information, answer any questions and explain the evaluation process. All communication between the transplant center and a potential donor is confidential.

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