Myths & Misconceptions of Living Kidney Transplants

When looking to post on a Kidney Transplant Thursday you could use any of the Myths and Misconceptions about living kidney donations.

In the United States most people know about the deceased donor organ program and that they could register with their Department of Motor Vehicles or via other organizations.
Funding for deceased donor education is provided by Federal, State and other governmental agencies. No such structure exists to educate the public about living kidney donation. As a result, there is little knowledge about living kidney donation and many myths and misconceptions that need to be overcome.

Myth: I need 2 kidneys to live a normal live
Fact: One in 750 people are born with one kidney and their life expectancy is the same as someone who is born with 2 kidneys.

Myth: You have 2 kidneys because one is a spare.
Fact: Most kidney diseases affect both kidneys as is the case with the 2 leading causes of kidney failure, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Myth: You won’t be accepted as a donor if you are older than 65.
Fact: It’s not someone’s age, it’s their health. Many people have donated who are in their 70’s or even their 80’s.

Myth: You are unable to reimburse a donor for any out of pocket expenses they incur.
Fact: It is legal to reimburse a donor for any pre or post-transplant expenses that they might incur such as travel, lodging, food, lost wages of the need to provide in home health care for a short time when released from the hospital.

Myth: If you smoke marijuana you are not allowed to be a kidney donor.
Fact: If that were the case many people in California and other States where marijuana is now legal wouldn’t be able to donate.

Myth: Most Transplants are from Living Donors
Fact: There are almost 2.5 times more deceased donor transplants each year than living donor transplants.

Myth: Matching someone to donate is 1 in a million, that’s why a blood relative is needed to be a donor.
Fact: A blood relative is NOT needed, the matching criteria has become much easier and if the donor is not compatible with their intended recipient they could register in a paired exchange.

Myth: A kidney donor will have to take anti-rejec?on drugs the rest of their life.
Fact: It’s the recipient that take the immunosuppressant drugs, not the donor.

Myth: Kidney donors need to limit their physical activities.
Fact: Most kidney donors can return to their normal activities in 4-6 weeks following the transplant, however, they should follow their doctor’s instructions. Everyone recovers differently from this procedure.

Myth: Kidney donors have to adhere to a new diet after they donate.
Fact: Kidney donors do not have any dietary restrictions.

Myth: A kidney donor can no longer consume alcohol following donation.
Fact: While excessive alcohol use is always dangerous, a kidney donor can consume alcohol in moderation – or as advised by their doctor.

Myth: A female kidney donor should not get pregnant acer donation.
Fact: Women can have children acer being a kidney donor. A woman who has donated a kidney should consult with her doctor before becoming pregnant.

Myth: A donor's sex life will be affected by donating.
Fact: After a period of recovery from the procedure an individual should consult their doctor but should be able to resume sexual activity when they feel well enough to do so.


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