How Old Is Too Old For CKD And Dialysis Patients To Receive Or Offer A Lifesaving Kidney Transplant?

"I hate Dialysis," a viewer wrote. "Am I too old to get a Kidney Transplant? Is there an age limit? If so, how old is too old to get a Kidney Transplant?"

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Many Chronic Kidney Disease patients especially those who conduct Dialysis desire a Kidney Transplant to improve their quality of life and avoid many of the side effects associated with Dialysis Treatments such as: Anemia (a shortage of red blood cells, which diminishes oxygen and saps energy and strength), weakness, low energy, Bone Disease, Heart Disease, Nerve Damage, and infections. What's more, according to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, patients who receive a Kidney Transplant typically live longer than those who stay on Dialysis.

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Of course this is not always the case, and there are risks associated with Kidney Transplantation including: Cancer, Diabetes,  small risk for acquiring AIDS and Hepatitis B, as well as an increased risk of infection due to the necessary Immunosuppressant Medications. However, according to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, "Patients who get a Kidney Transplant before Dialysis live an average of 10 to 15 years longer than if they stayed on Dialysis. Younger adults benefit the most from a Kidney Transplant, but even adults as old as 75 gain an average of four more years after a transplant than if they had stayed on Dialysis."

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Hence, in most cases, age is not a factor in terms of Kidney Donation. In fact, Harold Wendt, was 84 years and 11 months at the time of his Kidney Transplant Operation. While Wendt may be one of the oldest patients to ever receive a Kidney Transplant, studies have found that, "Survival after Kidney Transplantation in patients over 70 years has improved during the last decade and offers a survival advantage over Dialysis Treatment."

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Over time there probably will be more and more older recipients because "doctors are considering general health more than age in their evaluation of transplant candidates," said Dr. R. Brian Stevens, who operated on Wendt at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

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Similarly, for elderly patients interested in donating a Kidney Transplant, Johns Hopkins Researchers suggested that Kidney Transplants performed using organs from live donors over the age of 70 are safe for the donors and lifesaving for the recipients. “A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I wish I could donate a kidney, but I’m too old’,” noted Dr. Dorry Segev (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). “What our study says is that if you’re in good health and you’re over 70, you’re not too old to donate a kidney to your child, your spouse, your friend, anybody.” 

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Therefore, for those interested in receiving or offering the gift of life, age is really "just a number." Is this great news? Do you think healthy individuals should be able to give or receive a kidney without age restriction? Share your answer with the over 26,800 Friends by clicking here and visiting the Facebook Fan Page. While you are there Like the Page so you do not miss any of the latest Breaking News and Information.

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