In the years since 1998, there have been fewer complications and decreased hospital stays for those who choose to donate one of their two kidneys out of altruism (Living Donors), Researchers report in the most recent Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. With 98,000 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients listed to possibly receive a Kidney Transplant and 6,000 people dying every year while waiting on the Kidney Transplant list, it is clear that the need for kidneys far outpaces available supply. Thus Living Donors are occupying an increasingly critical role in helping to save the lives of those with CKD. In fact, just over one-third of all Kidney Transplants in the United States currently come from living donors.
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Only 7.6% of Living Donors suffer with complications after donating a kidney, which is down from the 10.1% of donors who had severe complications after a transplant procedure in 1998. The average length of hospital stay is also down from 3.7 to 2.5 days. These rates are similar to those faced by patients getting their appendix or gallbladders taken out.
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KidneyBuzz.com would note that the Living Donor profile has shifted slightly to encompass individuals that have a higher rate of depression, high blood pressure and obesity. Taken all together, individuals considering becoming a Living Donor should be encouraged to donate as research has shown that both short and long-term side effects are substantially decreasing. Researchers suggest that their findings underscore the need to continually monitor those who donate their kidney and how they fare after the procedure as a safeguard for the Living Donor’s health as well as the Kidney Transplant Recipient’s.
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Reference: "Study: For Kidney Donors, Risks of Altruism Are Decreasing." 1250 AM WTMA - [From ABC News].