Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Followup for donors important


Yes, getting a kidney is a big deal—but the donor also undergoes a big surgery and is left with only one kidney. Sometimes this fact is lost.

Docs say complications are rare for donors, but according to a story by Laura Neergaard, AP, long-term consequences for people left with one kidney are often not tracked.

Really—one doctor was quoted as saying—no one is taking care of the donor.

The United Network for Organ Sharing is thinking up some fixes for this. A checklist better explaining the potential consequences is one idea. Plus—more monitoring of donors. For instance, can donors get insurance?

In 2009, the Univ of Minnesota looked at 3,700 people who had donated a kidney---they found normal lifespans.

Now, though, donors are older, may be overweight. More African-Americans are donating. The game is changing.

Now, one study showed that a year after the surgery, the centers only know if 2/3 of the donors are alive or dead—much less more detail.

Comments are open on the new proposals through late December.

Some info here: http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/ContentDocuments/Guidance_Post_Donation_Donor_FollowUp.pdf

Being a donor is giving the gift of life--you deserve some TLC yourself.

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