by Maggie Diebolt
demand for kidney donation is much greater than the supply. There are
currently more than 700 people in South Carolina waiting to receive a
kidney transplant, and approximately 1 out of 20 patients die from
kidney disease each year as they wait for a kidney from a deceased
MUSC’s transplant program began in 1968, and approximately 180 kidney transplants are performed at MUSC each year.
The Living Donor Exchange Program matches patients in need of a
transplant with a living person willing to donate a kidney. While some
may question the logic of a healthy person donating one of their
kidneys, research has shown that a person can live a long and healthy
life with just one kidney—the remaining kidney simply grows bigger and
takes over the work of both kidneys.
Both relatives and non-relatives can be eligible to become a living
donor, and Prabhagar Baliga, M.D., Transplant Surgery chief, notes
that, “This past year we have been pleasantly surprised by an
increasing number of volunteers in the community who came forward to
donate a kidney to a complete stranger on the list. The team feels
especially privileged to have the trust such living donors placed in us
and their enduring generosity reinforces our faith in humanity.”
The benefits of receiving a donated kidney from a living donor are
numerous, including being able to avoid complications of prolonged
dialysis and having more time to prepare for surgery.
Additionally, a kidney from a living donor typically functions better
and lasts longer than one from a deceased donor, and the success rates
In order to provide the best possible match, a candidate for living
donation will undergo blood and tissue testing, health exams and
counseling by the transplant team.
For more information about the living donor program, contact Lucia Miles, at 792-8939, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.muschealth.com/transplant/livingkidney.htm or the
Paired Donation Network’s Web site, http://paireddonationnetwork.org.
Friday, Oct. 16, 2009