Can anyone get my kidney?

Today we caught up with a close friend and talked about DonorPlus being released into the market. We are always excited to talk about this achievement and hoping for many more updates so that living kidney donors can use the app to support them through their future journeys.

One question Candace asked was "how do recipients qualify for a donors kidney". This isn't an unusual question for people considering donating one of their living kidney altruistically as they want to be sure their steps are going to help someone live. For many people with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) they are well aware of the programs they need to keep aligned too to remain on the transplant waiting list.

That got us thinking that many people don't fully understand what someone with ESRD has to do to stay on the transplant list. Below is an introduction that should help potential donors understand, especially altruistic donors (non-direct), know how decisions are made by transplant hospitals. Some key points we discovered in our research has been:

Every person's journey to transplant is unique.

Every person deserves to live and not die waiting for a kidney transplant.

Generally, a kidney transplant is indicated for people who are suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). ESRD is a description of people who are in Stage 4 or 5 of chronic kidney disease (CKD). To learn more about these stages its best to talk to a hospital or specialist.

In every transplant team the person with ESRD needs to complete an evaluation to determine if they are suitable candidates fora kidney transplant. This criteria is generally the same regardless of what hospital or private clinic you are going through and will address the following for the person with ESRD:

  • Their current health condition

  • Past medical history

  • Psychosocial history and evaluation

  • Lab results

  • Medical testing results

  • Financial status

Not everyone becomes candidates for kidney transplant. The following conditions may complicate a kidney transplant or make it less likely to succeed:

  • Malignancy (cancer)

  • Active infections

  • Advanced cardiac (heart) disease

  • Advanced lung disease

  • Unstable psychiatric disorders

  • Evidence of poor compliance - Documented history of non-compliance with medical regimens or medications without reasonable justification

  • Absence of funding

  • Active alcohol or substance abuse

A transplant team will ensure that your kidney goes to a recipient that will value your gift.

*the above information has been sourced from various UK, USA and Australia hospital websites.

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