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Without intervening with the simplicity this subject of discussion demands; we will try to break the question of whether kidney donation is safe into numerous questions and will try to potentially cover all possible queries related to it.
Healthy, willing, and of appropriate age are the basic characteristics that a kidney donor must have. In sophisticated terms, a donor must be medically and psychosocially sound.
The first thing a person must do is to clearly think about the reasons for which they are donating the kidney and secondly they should get enough educated about the subject so as to quantify the pros-to-cons ratio of donating a kidney, specifically for their own situation of life.
Then, to apply for kidney donation, we have the contact information of a leading nephrologist at the bottom of this blog in the form of a URL. One can fill out an online application form which will be reviewed by a donor coordinator and then the donor is contacted for extra information. Kidney donation can also be applied for, by going to the hospital and filling out the donor form on paper. After filling out the donor form, screening is done by the expert to confirm the eligibility of the donor. Then the donor is evaluated for compatibility. In each step of the evaluation, the risk factors of the donor are the main things to be evaluated.
If the evaluation results come out as okay, it's generally safe to donate a kidney but that doesn’t make the process risk-free. The reason is that in the worst-case scenario, anyone can die from any operation, and donating a kidney is not an exception but if an analogy is to be made, the chances of dying from donating a kidney are roughly equivalent to the risk of dying in a car accident over a 6 months period in India. No one thinks twice about getting into the car every day but that’s about what the risk of donating a kidney is.
The long-term risk for a well-evaluated kidney donor is so small that insurance companies won’t raise their life insurance premiums or health insurance premiums and why that tells us a lot about risk because it is a known fact that an insurance company won’t cut anyone a break in paying premiums if they have a valid excuse to raise the premiums. Also, there are now even studies that show living kidney donors actually live longer than the general population and it's not that taking out a kidney makes a person live longer but it's just that only the healthiest people are selected from evaluation to donate their kidneys. This shows that they remain healthy even after they donate their kidneys. This study was shown by a nephrologist in Sweden who, after conducting this study, donated a kidney to her husband and both she and her husband are doing well even after 20 years of the transplant.