what steps to follow if i'm going to donate a kidney

by Donato Howell 8 min read

  1. Decide to whom you will donate. You can choose to donate a kidney directly to someone you know, but only if you are a compatible match.
  2. Contact a transplant center. Once you have decided that you would like to donate a kidney, you must contact a transplant center in order to initiate your application.
  3. Get matched. If you want to donate to a specific person, you will need to undergo blood testing to determine if you are a match.
  4. Have a health screening. In order to donate a kidney, you must be healthy enough to undergo surgery and to do well afterward with only one kidney.

Full Answer

What are the pros and cons of donating a kidney?

Mar 05, 2018 · The best way to prepare for a kidney transplant is to make healthy habit changes. Start exercising regularly if you aren’t already. Start eating a healthy diet—this will help both before and after your procedure. “If you’re going in for a kidney transplant, it’s important to quit smoking,” said Dr. Bermudez.

What are the steps to donating a kidney?

After donation, you should be able to live a pretty normal life. You'll have to take pain pills for a short time after surgery. Your remaining kidney will grow bigger to help make up for the one ...

How much does it cost to donate a kidney?

Feb 13, 2017 · THE FIRST STEPS TO BECOME A DONOR. Initial Interview. Potential donors should contact the a local transplant center to start the process. The confidential information will be given to a living donor coordinator to review. The evaluation process is directed together with the living donor coordinator and donor assistant.

Who cannot donate a kidney?

This is called living non-directed donation. If you are interested in donating a kidney to someone you do not know, the transplant center might ask you to donate a kidney when you are a match for someone who is waiting for a kidney in your area, or as part of kidney paired donation. You will never be forced to donate.


What should you do before donating a kidney?

Your doctor will do some tests to find out for sure. They'll check your blood and urine, and may also do an ultrasound or take X-rays of your kidneys. You may not be able to donate if you have medical issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.Dec 7, 2020

What is the first step in donating a kidney?

You will be given a physical examination to make sure you are healthy enough to donate a kidney. Chest X-ray and electrocardiogram (EKG). These tests are done to check for heart or lung disease. Radiological testing.

How long is the process to donate a kidney?

How long does the process take? The donation process depends on how many tests are required of the donor and how quickly he or she is able to complete them. The average donor work up may take six months or more for completion and may depend on test results, which may indicate additional evaluation is required.

What stops you from being able to donate a kidney?

You must also have normal kidney function . There are some medical conditions that could prevent you from being a living donor . These include having uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, or acute infections .

Who pays if you donate a kidney?

Who pays for living donation? Generally, the recipient's Medicare or private health insurance will pay for the following for the donor (if the donation is to a family member or friend).

Is donating a kidney painful?

After leaving the hospital, the donor will typically feel tenderness, itching and some pain as the incision continues to heal. Generally, heavy lifting is not recommended for about six weeks following surgery. It is also recommended that donors avoid contact sports where the remaining kidney could be injured.

What to eat after donating a kidney?

Moderate protein intake is recommended after kidney donation. Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, eggs, soy, and tofu are all protein-rich foods. Monitor portion sizes to reduce extra protein intake.

Is it hard to donate a kidney?

You have to be strong enough to make it through surgery and anesthesia. And you have to have two kidneys to begin with: "You might be walking around with one kidney and not know it, since some people are born with only one," Vassalotti says. Although that issue is somewhat rare, you'll need an imaging test to find out.Nov 12, 2018

Why you should not donate a kidney?

Medical possible long-term cons People can get certain health problems after donating: About 18% of donors (about 1 in 5) get high blood pressure. About 5% (1 in 20) get chronic kidney disease. 4% (less than 1 in 20) get diabetes within 5 years of donating.

Who is the best match for a kidney transplant?

The best match for the recipient is to have 12 out of s12antigen match. (This is known as a zero mismatch.) It is possible for all 12 markers to match, even with an unrelated deceased donor organ, if the patient has a very common HLA type.

Why can't I donate kidneys?

People with high blood pressure may not be suitable donors, because kidneys are sometimes damaged by high blood pressure (hypertension), and removing a kidney may increase the risk of damage to the remaining one.

How does donating a kidney affect people?

Donation of a kidney can affect people in different ways and your mental health is as important as your physical health. A psychologist or counsellor will almost always see non-directed kidney donors to talk about their reasons for wanting to donate and the potential psychological impact on them.

What is urine test?

Urine tests. Your urine is tested to look for any sign of infection or other abnormalities, such as blood, protein or glucose in the urine. These tests can be done on an ordinary urine sample, which is tested with a simple dipstick and also sent to the laboratory.

When to do pre-op blood work?

In the week or fortnight before the operation a few of the blood tests may be repeated to check that nothing has changed. Some routine “pre-op” (before the operation) investigations may also be done during a pre-admission visit to the hospital.

What is the order of blood tests?

Although the order of the tests may vary around the country, a simple blood test to find out your blood group will usually be carried out at an early stage. You will also have a number of blood tests to check that you are not carrying any potentially harmful viruses, such as hepatitis or HIV, and other infections that could be passed on to a potential recipient.

How long does it take for a glucose tolerance test to be done?

This test involves a series of two blood tests taken over a period of two hours. At the beginning of the series you will come to the hospital in the morning and have a blood test before eating anything. You will then be asked to drink a very sweet drink containing glucose and the blood test is repeated after two hours. The test measures how well the body copes with a high dose of sugar. People with diabetes or impaired glucose handling will not be able to donate a kidney.

Can you be a kidney donor if you have only one kidney?

About one in 1,000 people are born with only one kidney, and if you happen to have only one kidney you cannot be a kidney donor!

Who Can I Give My Kidney To?

You can donate a kidney to a family member or friend who needs one. You can also give it to someone you don't know. Doctors call this a “nondirected” donation, in which case you might decide to meet the person you donate to, or choose to stay anonymous. Either way, doctors will give your kidney to the person who needs it most and is the best match.

Am I Healthy Enough to Donate a Kidney?

Your doctor will do some tests to find out for sure. They’ll check your blood and urine, and may also do an ultrasound or take X-rays of your kidneys. You may not be able to donate if you have medical issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

What Happens After Surgery?

Your doctor will prescribe medications to help manage your pain. They’ll also want you to get up and start moving around shortly afterward.

How Can I Donate?

If you want to give your kidney to a friend or family member, talk to the doctor at the transplant center. You'll start taking tests to see if you're a match.

How old do you have to be to donate a kidney?

Here's what to expect from the donor selection and screening process. Getting Started. To be a donor, you should be at least 18 years old. The best candidates don’t have any major illnesses, aren’t overweight, and don’t smoke.

How old do you have to be to donate?

To be a donor, you should be at least 18 years old. The best candidates don’t have any major illnesses, aren’t overweight, and don’t smoke. You may get the OK as long as you lose weight or agree to quit smoking before the surgery.

What is the final decision for a living donor?

The final decision to proceed will be a group decision among you, your recipient, and the transplant team.

Why is the kidney evaluation process important?

The evaluation process is meant to protect you. It ensures that you are healthy enough to donate a kidney. While there are inherent risks of living donation and with any surgery, the rigorous evaluation process provides a systematic way of determining any specific, known risks to you.

What tests are done to check kidney function?

Radiological testing. These tests allow physicians to look at your kidney, including its blood vessel supply. Urine testing. A 24-hour urine sample is collected to make sure you have good kidney function.If it is found that your kidney function is low, they will most likely advise against donation.

What is a living donor advocate?

A living donor advocate will be an important member of your healthcare team who you can feel free to discuss any concerns or hesitations you may have. All conversations between the living donor and the transplant team and the results of medical testing will be kept confidential. If at any point in the evaluation process you decide ...

What is a compatibility test?

Compatibility Tests. A blood sample will be taken to check for compatibility between you and the recipient. This includes: Blood typing. Your blood type will be checked to see if it is compatible with the recipient. Tissue typing.

What is a crossmatch test?

This blood test checks the tissue match between your white blood cells and the recipient’s white blood cells. Crossmatching. In this test, blood cells from the donor and recipient are mixed. If the recipient’s cells attack and destroy the donor cells, the crossmatch is positive.

What is paired exchange?

A paired exchange involves two pairs of living donors and their recipients. The two recipients “swap” donors so that each receives a kidney from a compatible donor. If this is an option for you, your transplant team will coordinate the entire process, including finding the matching pair.

How old do you have to be to be a living kidney donor?

If you’d like to be a living kidney donor, are healthy, and are between the ages of 18–69, contact a member of our living kidney donor team. Remember, living kidney donation saves lives.

How long after donating a kidney can you get pregnant?

Still, women should wait one year after donating a kidney before they get pregnant. This gives your body plenty of time to heal. 9. You can talk to someone who's donated before. Our living kidney donor program can help you speak with someone from our program who has donated a kidney.

What happens after donating blood?

After donating, your remaining kidney will take on the work of both kidneys. 5. Your blood and tissue type must be compatible with your recipient’s. Besides being healthy, living donors must have compatible blood and tissue types with the kidney recipient.

How long do you have to stay in the hospital after kidney transplant?

Your hospital stay will be short and you can get back to work fairly quickly. Most living kidney donors stay in the hospital for five to 10 days. Depending on what you do for work, you can return to work as soon as two weeks or as late as eight weeks after your surgery.

Who is Benjamin Benson?

Benjamin Benson was a teenager when he first thought about donating a kidney to someone in need. He hadn’t known anyone in his life with kidney problems, or in need of an organ transplant, but he knew that you only need one kidney to live. Shortly before his 24th birthday he started looking into how he could make kidney donation a reality.

Can you donate kidneys to someone?

3. You don’t have to be related to someone to donate a kidney to them. In fact, one in four living organ donors is not biologically related to the recipient (the person who receives a donated organ).

What tests are needed for a transplant?

Some tests you will have include: blood tests, urine tests, imaging exams, and. cancer screenings.