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Living Donation Pt. 1

Apr 05, 2024

 Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Maura Mullen BSN, RN, Critical Care Supervisor and Educator at United Hospital Center, is here to discuss what is a living donation.

1). What is living donation?

Living donation is when a living person donates an organ or part of an organ to a person in need of a transplant. Living kidney donation is possible because we can live a healthy life with one functioning kidney. Living liver donation is possible because the liver consists of two lobes, one of which can be donated to someone in need. Both lobes will regenerate to normal size and function generally within 6-12 weeks.

2). When was the first successful living donation?

The first successful living donation took place in 1954. Dr. Joseph Murray transplanted a healthy kidney from one twin to his brother. He had been suffering from a chronic kidney failure, but both lived a healthy life after the transplant.

3). Why is living donation important?

Living donation offers another choice for transplant candidates and reduces the number of people on the national transplant waiting list (from deceased donors). Even better, kidney and liver patients able to receive a living donor transplant can receive a good quality organ much sooner, often in less than a year.

The limited number of deceased donor organs cannot meet the growing need for lifesaving organ transplants. Living donation is one way we can give more people access to the lifesaving transplant they need. Other benefits of living donation include:

  • The recipient can be transplanted while in better health and better able to tolerate the surgery.
  • Living donor organs are often better quality and on average last longer than deceased donor organs.
  • Kidney disease patients can avoid years of dialysis.
  • The surgery can be scheduled at a time convenient for both the donor and the recipient.
  • Many living donors refer to the experience as one of their most rewarding achievements.

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

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