Monthly Archives: March 2013

Organ Transplants

An organ transplant can replace an organ that is failing. Transplants can be done on livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs, and the small intestine. There are times when a double organ transplant will be required, such as heart/lung.

A liver transplant will be needed when the liver goes into failure. This can be caused by illness such as hepatitis. It can also be caused by cirrohsis of the liver. Certain medications can also cause liver failure.

A kidney transplant will be needed when the kidneys are affected by diseases such as diabetes, polycystic kidney disease, or lupus. If one kidney is transplanted, it can be done by what is called live organ donation. In this case, a living person gives one kidney to another person with bad ones. We can live with one kidney so this will work. A living donor may include a family member, friend or coworker or anyone willing to give a kidney. A kidney from someone who has died can also be used. In either case, the kidney will have to be the perfect match to work. This is why family members are usually the best candidates as donors in live donations.

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Organ Donation and Living Wills

Many Americans find it hard to look ahead and plan for what seem to be such depressing subjects – serious illness and death. While considering the possibility of an unpleasant future or the inevitability of death may seem unpleasant, you could end up being harmed even more by not looking ahead. Planning for the possibility of a severe illness or injury is critically important to ensuring that you receive the kind of medical care that you want, on your terms. You can protect your wishes by creating a living will, in which you can specify how you would like to be medically treated, including whether you would like to be listed as an organ donor.

The Importance of a Living Will

A living will is a legal document that allows you to specify the conditions of your medical treatment in case you become too sick or injured to communicate these wishes yourself. You may have religious beliefs that restrict you from accepting life support, but if you do not make these beliefs known, you may be subjected to certain treatment that you do not believe in. Your living will is a protection that allows you to speak for yourself in writing. In it you may specify the type and degree of treatment you would like to receive, whether you accept life support, who you would like to make medical decisions for you if you are unable, whether you would like to donate your healthy organs after death, and more.

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The Fastest Way to Get a Kidney Transplant

Have you ever heard of a paired exchange? It may also be known as a kidney swap. The whole process is fairly easy to understand and allows patients to receive a kidney transplant within a year instead of waiting the traditional 2 to 4 years.

First of all, the patient in need of a new kidney should have a family member or somebody willing to give his organ directly to him. It is called a living donor. A perfect match would be the best case scenario and they will be able to go ahead with the kidney transplantation. Before 2008, if there was no match, that was it, no transplant. Now, there is more hope. The potential kidney donor and the patient, providing everybody consents, will be put on a national list for a kidney swap.

The objective is to pair the patient and his donor with another patient and donor in the same situation. This is what a kidney swap is all about. The end result is the same: both patients get a new kidney and both donors gave one. This process opens more doors and allows more organ transplantations to take place because otherwise nothing would have happened without a match.

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