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Kidney Transplants and Organ Donation
Did you know more than 26 million Americans have kidney disease?
Out of the 118,000 people on the U.S. organ donor waiting list, a total of 96,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving kidney transplant.
When detected early, this illness is treatable. However, patients who suffer from severe cases of kidney disease often depend on an organ transplant to survive.
Continue reading for information about kidney transplants and find out how you can register as an organ donor in your state.
Kidneys are essential to the filtration of blood in our bodies. As soon as the body absorbs what it needs from food, wastes are sent to the blood and the kidneys begin to work. Here’s what they do:
- Remove excess water and waste from the blood.
- Control the balance of fluids in the body.
- Help the body convert waste products into urine.
- Return purified blood to the body.
When the kidneys are unable to remove toxins from the blood, our bodies start developing a range of health issues such as:
- Recurring headaches.
- Loss of appetite or nausea.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
In critical cases, a kidney transplant is the only solution for increasing a person’s quality of life. Since there is a shortage of organ donors in the United States, 13 people die waiting for a kidney every single day.
The good news is there are several ways YOU CAN HELP. See “Register as an Organ Donor” below.
In the process of transplanting a kidney, doctors can replace a patient’s damaged kidney with one from either a deceased or healthy living donor.
A wonderful part of the transplant process is all recipients receive support from their personal transplant care team. People who receive kidney transplants will also receive instructions from their doctors about getting back to health, and tons of support when any concerns arise.
Following a kidney transplant, recovery time varies from patient to patient. Statistics show 69.3% of kidney recipients live for at least 5 years after their transplants. Although kidney recipients have the potential to live healthy and happy lives, often times they may have to deal with a series of new health challenges and lifestyle changes.
Kidneys are suitable for living donation, which is the process of transplanting an organ from a living person to a patient in need. In fact, kidneys are the most commonly donated organs from living donors.
Since living donors are usually family members, there is a better chance of a genetic match and lower risk of rejection. However, a spouse, co-worker, or anonymous donor will donate his or her kidney on occasion.
To support organ donation in the United States, register to become an organ donor!
You have a couple options:
Option 1: Visit the Donate Life America website and register in your state.
Option 2: Declare your intentions on your driver’s license when you apply or renew at your local DMV office.
Visit our Organ Donor page for specific details about how to register in your state.
If you’re on the fence about becoming an organ donor, read about the 10 Most Common Myths About Organ Donation.
NOTE: After you register as an organ donor, you should notify your family of your decision, including the organs you’ve given permission to donate. This will ensure that your wishes are carried out as intended.
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