LKDN Fraternal Education Initiative
There is an Overwhelming Need for Living Kidney Donors
Most people are aware of the national campaign to register to be an organ and tissue donor with your Department of Motor Vehicles. (DMV) Are you aware of the need for living kidney donors? Do you know that one living kidney donor can save many lives?
There are more than 100,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a kidney transplant. For many, the wait for a deceased donor kidney could be 10 years. More than 4,700 from this group die each year while waiting. Kidney transplants from deceased donation will never be enough to end the wait for a kidney transplant. This tragedy is avoidable. There is a successful model in place that can help these individuals, it’s Living Kidney Donation.
Our current effort on solving the problem is almost exclusively focused on encouraging people to register to be an organ and tissue donor in the event of their untimely death. The federal government, Donate Life America, DMVs and many local organizations spend millions of dollars a year to convey this message. Up until now there hasn’t been a national program to educate the public about living kidney donation.
LKDN Fraternal Education Initiative educates members of fraternal groups, Rotary, Kiwanis etc. in a 15-minute presentation about living kidney donation. Someone attending this presentation will have a better understanding of the crisis in kidney transplantation and will hopefully consider being a donor should they find out that a friend or loved one is in need of a kidney transplant.
How can one kidney donor save many lives? There’s a growing trend of people who learn about the long waiting list and decide to donate a kidney even though they don’t know someone in need. This type of donor is referred to as a non-directed donor (NDD). Medical technology and kidney paired donations, also called paired exchanges, swaps or chains, results in a NDD being able to save the life of not just one person but many. These transplants are called domino paired exchanges or ongoing paired exchanges. To read more about these transplants click here.
In a study using data from 2008 – 2012, analysis found that each NDD resulted in 4.8 kidney transplants. For each NDD that had an O blood type there were 6 lives saved. Blood type O’s are universal donors, they can donate to any other blood type and are highly valued in paired exchanges.
There are significant risks to this major surgical procedure that is reviewed prior to a donor giving their consent to donate. The procedure is done laparoscopically, often allowing the donor to return home in 1 to 3 days after surgery. Research shows that kidney donors have the lifespan, hypertension and overall wellness rates comparable to the general population.
There are many benefits to a kidney from a living donor. One is that a living donor kidney lasts on average twice as long as one from a deceased donor.
Medical advances and drugs have enabled many more people to be a compatible donor. In the past, living donors needed to be close relatives to “match,” now, many living donors are not related to their recipient.
If you would like to learn more about NDD contact Harvey Mysel at: 312-473-3772 or click here to send an email request.
If you are interested in volunteering for the LKDN Fraternal Education Initiative, your first step is for LKDN to learn more about you. Please click here to get started.