More than 90,000 Americans today are waiting for a kidney transplant. If you're healthy, you can donate a kidney to one of them. And, according to a new study, it's overwhelmingly likely you'd be just fine afterwards.
A new study—the first of its kind—found that, by donating a kidney, your risk of getting serious kidney disease increases by almost a thousand percent. The good news: it's still almost nothing! From the LA Times:
In the 15 years after he or she goes under the knife, a live kidney donor has a 0.3% likelihood of developing end-stage kidney disease requiring chronic dialysis or a transplant, researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found. While that is higher than the .04% probability he or she would have had as a nondonor, the fact is that kidney failure remains a highly improbable outcome.
This would seem to be an argument in favor of creating a legal, regulated market in donated kidneys, an idea that's been advocated by some for years— if the procedure is that safe, lots of people would presumably be willing to donate for the right price. It's also a great argument for donating a kidney to a stranger! Save a life, and gain my utmost respect! Because I'm probably not going to. Surgery freaks me out But it is very safe.