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March 30, 2016

The importance of living kidney donation

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Benefits are great for those who receive organs from living kidney donors.

 

March is National Kidney Month and April is National Donate Life Month, which makes this week a perfect time to consider the benefits of living kidney donation.

As you’ll see in the video below, advances are being made on a breakthrough device that can help free kidney patients from dialysis. But the ongoing need is great: For roughly every 8 people who need a kidney transplant, there is only 1 donor.

That’s why living kidney donation is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

The benefits for recipients:

  • They live longer, healthier lives free from dialysis.
  • Living donor kidneys tend to function faster and better, and last longer than a kidney from a donor who has died.
  • Recipients need less medicine to prevent rejection; therefore, they have fewer medication side effects.
  • The recipient and donor both have the convenience of surgery scheduling.
  • One person who receives a kidney from a living donor means one fewer person waiting for a deceased donor kidney. This lets one more person move up the wait list.

The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years, according to Donate Life America. Living kidney donation offers an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list.

Watch how Vanderbilt is using a microchip to build a first-ever artificial kidney to help meet the need for kidney transplants:

 

Organ & Blood Donation

Vanderbilt’s Kidney Transplant Program is one of the largest and oldest in the U.S. Click here to learn more about the program and find out how to become a donor.

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