Tags: transplant | donors | surgery | aftercare

Advocates Push For Kidney Donor Safety

Thursday, 01 Dec 2011 10:35 AM

Surgical complications are rare for those who donate a kidney, experts say. However, as the number of people who volunteer an organ to a friend, loved one, or even a stranger continues to grow, transplant advocates want to be sure there are no long-term health consequences for those donating an organ.

“Who’s taking care of the donor after the surgery? Really, no one is,” says kidney donor Krystal McLear of Indian Head, Maryland, who serves on a committee for the national United Network for Organ Sharing. The organization proposes tracking donor health and social stability for two years after the surgery. The National Kidney Foundation has long advocated similar donor monitoring.

A 2009 study of 3,700 kidney donors in the previous 40 years showed they lived normal lives and were no more likely to suffer kidney failure than the general population.

However, donor eligibility has relaxed in the past 20 years, during which there have been some 109,000 living kidney donors. Donors these days may be older, overweight, and have conditions such as high blood pressure than would’ve been acceptable in the past.

“There is this perception out there that donors don’t want to be followed up. That’s not necessarily the case,” says McLear.

Over 90,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a kidney – but less than 17,000 transplants a year, 6,000 of which are courtesy of living donors.


© HealthDay

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