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Where can we get a kidney donor?

Thursday, 13 May 2004
Answered by: Dr. Vijay Kher
Consultant Nephrologist,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,
New Delhi
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Q. My eldest sister, who is about 37 years old, is suffering from kidney failure and both her kidneys have failed. She never had high BP or blood sugar. The reason for kidney failure is not known to the doctors despite her undergoing several tests. She is married and has one son. Her pregnancy was quite normal and she never had any health problems earlier. No one in our family had such a problem. Her condition is critical as she is on dialysis once a week for the past 9-10 months. Our problem is that we are from a middle class family and cannot afford transplantation as whatever we had was spent on her dialysis. We have come to know that medication after transplantation is even more costly. Can you please tell me where to get the donor for kidney and what is the expense for obtaining it? Can you suggest any social or charitable trust or organation who can help us financially?

A.  Many patients of chronic renal failure get only very minimal symptoms till considerable kidney function is lost and kidneys have become shrunken in size. A kidney biopsy at that stage is no more hazardous and not useful, thus not done. The other common cause of kidney failure are glomerulonephritis or interstitial disease in addition to diabetes & hypertension. However, once kidney failure has progressed to the stage of requiring dialysis or transplant, the treatment is similar. Dialysis is optimally provided currently on 3 times a week hemodialysis for 4 hrs each time. I realize the cost would prevent many from getting this therapy. Renal transplant is governed by organ transplant act and sale of kidneys is illegal. Thus unless you have a donor in the family, you can not buy a donor from the market. Prime Minister/Chief Ministers found in each state do provide some help to few who apply.

A.  Many patients of chronic renal failure get only very minimal symptoms till considerable kidney function is lost and kidneys have become shrunken in size. A kidney biopsy at that stage is no more hazardous and not useful, thus not done. The other common cause of kidney failure are glomerulonephritis or interstitial disease in addition to diabetes & hypertension. However, once kidney failure has progressed to the stage of requiring dialysis or transplant, the treatment is similar. Dialysis is optimally provided currently on 3 times a week hemodialysis for 4 hrs each time. I realize the cost would prevent many from getting this therapy. Renal transplant is governed by organ transplant act and sale of kidneys is illegal. Thus unless you have a donor in the family, you can not buy a donor from the market. Prime Minister/Chief Ministers found in each state do provide some help to few who apply.

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