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WHAT DOES A POTENTIAL LIVING DONOR NEED TO CONSIDER?



        Someone who is thinking
        about donating one of their
        kidneys to help a loved one
        has many things to
        consider. The medical staff
        will need to do a complex
        series of tests, which may
        take quite a long period of
        time. This is to make sure
        that the donor is in good
        physical and mental health
        and that their kidney is
        suitable for transplantation.



                  “One of the                     One of the most frequent concerns of potential living kidney

                 most frequent                  donors is whether the loss of one kidney will adversely effect
             concerns of potential              them in later life.
             living kidney donors is              A healthy person can live a completely normal life with only one

            whether the loss of one             kidney; indeed, some people are born with only one kidney. If a
                                                kidney is removed, the remaining kidney increases slightly in size
              kidney will adversely             and capacity, and can carry on the function of two kidneys. This
                   effect them in               means that it is possible to remove one kidney from a healthy

                      later life.”              living person and transplant it into someone who needs it, with
                                                minimal ill effects on the donor other than the surgery itself.




                                                                 It is worth remembering, however, that the
                THE RISKS AND BENEFITS
                                                              operation to remove a healthy person’s kidney
        Studies have concluded if donors are carefully        carries the same risk as any major surgical
        selected and screened the risk of experiencing        procedure. Although all possible precautions are
        serious problems (such as kidney disease later in     taken, there are always risks when undergoing
        life) from donating a kidney is very low. There is    surgery.
        sometimes a slight rise in blood pressure or             There are also practical issues that need to be
        increased loss of protein in the urine for the donor,  considered, such as the time taken off from work
        but this does not usually impact on the donor’s       for the investigations and after the operation. It is
        health in the long-term.                              also important to consider domestic responsibilities
           The renal unit, at Beaumont Hospital, plans to     and practical arrangements, such as looking after
        follow-up all living donors, on an annual basis, for  children.
        life so that any health issues can be detected at an     In addition, a number of investigations are
        early stage. These issues will be discussed in more   performed that may uncover a previously unknown
        detail throughout this book.                          medical condition







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