KidneyBuzz.com has received countless calls, emails, text messages, and Facebook posts asking the same basic question, "How old is too old to donate a kidney?" While it has been vague in the past, findings by the American Journal of Transplantation are both shocking and thrilling. Not only can people in their 80's be safe kidney donors, but also the results of donation may significantly increase the odds of many more patients getting a Kidney Transplant to avoid or get off of Dialysis altogether.
Many patients' parents, grandparents, and in some cases - great-grandparents would love to donate, but they are deemed too old. One parent of a 50-year-old Dialysis patient said at age 80-years-old, "I think I am too old to donate to my son, but if I could I would. I just want him to have his life back again." Well, researchers may have cracked the code noting that, "similar outcomes were confirmed" among kidney transplants from donors over the age of 80 and those of younger donors.
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Most patients will be delighted to learn that Kidney Transplant Recipients who received their kidneys from donors over the age of 80, had shorter waiting times than those who waited for younger donors. Let's be clear, the findings focused on octogenarian donors [a person who is from 80 to 89-years-old]. This suggests that individuals over the age of 89-years-old may not be good donor candidates.
What does this mean for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients? Well according to the authors of the study, "kidneys from octogenarian donors permits further expansion of the donor-organ pool and faster access to a kidney transplant, without increasing the risk of premature graft [kidney] failure."
This is great news that should be shared far-and-wide. Next time your mother or grandmother asks if they can donate, more seriously consider having them go through testing on your behalf. If your Kidney Transplant Center suggests that she is too old, refer them to the findings in this article. You may be surprised how many professionals are unaware of major breakthroughs and findings.
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