I had read that Spain considers people upon their deaths as donors, but they are given the option to opt out before death. We do the opposite, opt to become one upon our death. They have a very high donor sucess rate because of their program. That gives first responders the option to consider all victims as donors and place them on life support immediately thus preserving so many organs and tissue which would other wise go unused. Perhaps we should take a lesson from someone else's success rate and use it as our own.
Those of us that have offered our kidneys are a brave lot. Why would anyone, in perfect health even consider going through the surgery, losing half of their filtering capability for life, be a possible health insurance liability, and just get a thank you for what they did. No wonder more don't come forward. It is too bad more donors that are 20 years post donation don't post here, or any where. There are a few that are 10 years. But people want to know the looonnnggg term outcomes for living with one kidney. Donation hospitals don't even keep track. If they offered a free annual check up maybe more would continue to get checked and there then would be more of a record, but, there isn't much of one to be found, sad really. They ( the medical community) keeps telling us we can live with one kidney. But, they don't supply long term outcomes. And there are some life style changes that come with donation as well if you want to maintain that one kidney for a long time. You know as we age there will be some medical issues that develop, it just does with age. I was 60 when I donated, I have lived a good share of my life, raised my children, traveled, and have had a good life. I can live with anything that develops for me from now on out. But asking a young person facing all this with normal expectations, I can see where it would be a real hard decision.
I think there should be a LOT more education on obesity and diabetes, with kidney failure being one of the biggest outcomes. Show the general public dialysis, interview those on dialysis. If you don't do dialysis, you die, plan and simple. And dialysis is no picnic either. Many are unable to work once starting dialysis because they really don't feel well and because few employers are will to put up with the time needed off for doctor appointments or dialysis schedules. Many people have other illnesses that have caused kidney failure, but the obesity and diabetes are two diseases which can be controlled for the most part. We are facing an aging population, there will be more and more people facing kidney failure not just the aging, but because of the obesity and diabetes in the younger population. It is becoming an epidemic!!
I don't believe living donors is the answer either, there aren't enough, and the cadaver donors use is pathetic at best. Something needs to change. And after someone gets a transplant they are covered for 3 years by Medicare for the medicines they need, after that, they must pay for it themselves, and they are really expense, if they don't have a job that covers the expense. Getting a transplant is no picnic either. Prevention is by far the wiser choice.
I am glad I was a donor, I would do it again if I could, but, there are not enough living donors to fill the need. Thousands die each year waiting for a transplant. Dialysis costs over 70,000 a year, each year, a transplant surgery costs 50,000 and gives the transplant recipient hopefully, years of use. Kind of a no brainer isn't it?!