Kidneys are the organs most commonly donated and the one needed the most. Living donors may also donate a portion of their liver or lung to give others a second chance at life. Nationwide, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans make up 35% of the individuals on the waiting list for kidney transplants. In North Carolina and in many other Southern states, that figure exceeds 50%.
Any type of surgery involves risks but there are a number of benefits to living kidney donation.
- Patients don’t always have to get on the transplant waiting list
- The surgery can actually be scheduled at a convenient time
- Statistically, transplants from living donors are more successful
Immediate family members are most likely to be a good match. Close friends and even strangers can however donate a kidney. If you are interested in becoming a living donor, contact the Transplant Department at Carolinas Medical Center, the only transplant center in the region.
For general transplant questions, you can call 704-355-6649. For questions about living donation, call 704-355-3602.
Fortunately, many of the leading causes of organ failure such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer can be prevented. Being healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle not only will keep you from needing a transplant, but will keep your organs healthy in case you ever want to become a living donor. Additional information for people interested in living donation or who have had an organ transplant is available at www.transplantliving.org.