Introduction to Live Kidney Donation

Hello. And thank you for your interest in learning more about living
kidney donation. This video will provide you an overview about
kidney failure and how living kidney
donation can help. Let’s get started. Our kidneys help our
body stay healthy. They clear waste
by producing urine and help with other
important functions. Kidneys are amazing organs. Most of us are born with two. Because we have two kidneys, we can donate one and still remain healthy with the kidney we keep. But not everyone has
healthy kidneys. When someone’s kidneys
stop working, the options for
treatment are dialysis, a machine that filters waste or receiving a
kidney transplant. Kidneys donated for
transplantation come from a person who has died or from
a living donor. When a person’s kidneys
no longer work, dialysis is often the
first treatment option, but it’s not always
the best option and it doesn’t have
to be the first. Imagine a person who falls overboard at sea but has a small life
raft to cling to. The life raft is keeping
the person alive, but life on a life
raft has risks and quality of life
is not that great. The person lost at
sea wants nothing more than to be on land again. In this analogy, the life raft
represents dialysis. It is keeping the person alive but like the life raft, it has its risks and the circumstances
could be better. Returning to land represents a kidney transplant. Life on land has its risks, too, but they are
less than being lost at sea and life is
much more enjoyable. For people
with kidney failure, a live kidney
donor transplant can be the fastest
way to be rescued and return to land. In order to be
a kidney donor, you must be at least
18 years old. Be of good physical
and mental health. Learn about the
process of becoming a donor including
the medical and psychosocial
evaluations one must complete to be a donor, the surgical
procedure to remove the kidney,
the medical care that you will receive
while in hospital, and the required follow-up after donation. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the
donation process and the associated risks. Be willing to donate and sign an
evaluation consent. The decision must be yours. It is illegal to be paid or forced into donating. It’s important to know that the test needed to evaluate your eligibility for donation are billed to the insurance plan of the person who receives your kidney so there
is no cost to you. You can stop the
evaluation process at any time and are not obligated to donate your kidney under
any circumstances. If you decide not
to move forward with donating a kidney, your decision is protected and confidential. If you have questions, we are here to help. You have access to an Independent Living Donor Advocate, I.L.D.A. An I.L.D.A. is a person
with knowledge of the living donation process and is dedicated to helping answer questions
you might have. The I.L.D.A. is here for you and advocates for your rights as a donor. Even if you are
unable to donate your kidney, there
may be additional ways that you can help. Contact us to find
out more about how you can become a living donor champion. Okay. Now that we have
that covered, let’s talk about what’s next. First, you will
need to complete a health screening
questionnaire. This can be done online on your transplant program’s website or by phone. Results from the
health screening questionnaire will
help our donor team determine your next steps. Please click the video links at the end of the
health screening questionnaire to learn more about the donor process.

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