A living organ donor is usually between family and dear friends and rarely among strangers. The ideal candidate is usually between the ages of 18 to 60. Since we usually have two, the donate a kidney kidneys are the most common type of organ donated by the living. We can live health lives and function perfectly fine, if we donate a liver lobe, a portion of a healthy pancreas or share some of our intestines. A living donor will have to meet some requirements to qualify for donations, such as: being physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy. If you have or currently have high blood pressure, diabetes, any kidney or coronary disease or cancer of any type, you will be automatically disqualified to be a living donor.
As always, we want to provide you with all the information available for you to make an educated decision. A living donor will have to undergo sedation, major surgery and incur all the risks that any surgery might entail (such as infection, negative side effects to anesthesia, etc.). Don’t forget the recovery time, hospital stay and medications that you will be required to take to lower the risk of any potential infections.
A living donor should also consider the psychological aspects of such a charitable act of kindness. Being depressed or feeling anxious after the surgery is very common; grief is usually inevitable if the recipient’s body rejects the organ. The United Network for Organ Sharing highly recommends that anyone considering being a live donor has a strong support system in place to assist them in dealing with the psychological complications that may arise.
The recipient’s insurance company will cover all medical expenses directly related to the donation. Keep in mind that this will not cover lost wages, travel expenses, nor before and after physical exams regarding the donation. As mentioned earlier, and enforced by the United States agency of organ and tissue regulations, no donor is allowed to accept monetary compensation for the donation of any of their organs.
You still might be asking why I should register to be an organ / tissue donor. That is an easy question to answer; because you as just one individual may have the ability to save 8 lives!
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