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Finding a Kidney Donor through Twitter

NBC’s Today show described a story of a Mayo Clinic patient with kidney disease who received a life-saving transplant after her daughter made connections with a volunteer kidney donor through social media, notably on Twitter.

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  1. As a living kidney donor myself, I have great sympathy for anyone in their bid to help their loved one. Unfortunately, they (and those who perpetuate their plea) seem to neglect that living donation is not without its risks.

    According to OPTN, 4.4 living kidney donors die each year in the US within 12 months of donation. Others suffer chronic and debilitating complications: nerve damage, pancreatitis, testicular swelling and sensitivity, chylous ascites, intestinal blockage, adrenal dysfunction, etc.

    20-30% of living donors experience depression, anxiety, anger and PTSD symptoms. Yet not a single transplant center offers aftercare or support services.

    There are NO national standardized criteria for the evaluation, selection, treatment or care of living donors. There is NO long-term data on living donors’ health or well-being. No one bothered to collect social security numbers until 1994. And OPTN has required one year of follow-up since 2000 yet 30% of LDs are ‘lost’, and not a single transplant center has been held responsible for not complying with this federal statute.

    Living kidney donors are subject to a higher lifetime risk of hypertension, cardiac disease and death, and kidney disease and death (we know this from general nephrectomy data). Over 200 LKDs since 94 have ended up on the wait list themselves, an average of 20 years post-donation. With an expended living donor pool, and greater collection of data, that number is guaranteed to grow.

    These individuals should ask themselves whether they’d be willing to assume these sorts of risks for a stranger or casual acquaintance. If the answer is ‘no’ then they have no business asking someone to do it for them or their loved one.

    May 23, 2011
  2. My father has been diagnosed with kidney failure and I just need to understand how he goes about getting on the donor list for a match.

    Can anyone tell me if he is required to go through his physician to get on the list or can we request that he be put on the list? I don’t want to wait for the physician and then find out that we could have put him on ourselves.

    Thanks!

    December 5, 2011
  3. With so many people on transplant waiting lists and so few organs available, the fact that it is possible for a person to donate one of their two kidneys, or even a portion of their liver, to another person in need offers an incredible and life changing opportunity for both the recipient and the living donor.

    December 11, 2011

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. What impact will e-patients have on how healthcare is delivered? | pharmaphorum
  2. Top Medical Social Media Stories of 2011: Month by Month « ScienceRoll
  3. Donner ses organes sur Facebook? | Une Chouette Geek

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