Ask yourself: 'If I needed a kidney, how much risk would I be willing to take?'
For a person already in need of a kidney transplant, a willingness to accept infection risk can come down to the amount of the infection risk, in this case as it pertains to HIV, the age of the donor -- and how long the patient has been waiting.
The waiting is hard.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania asked 175 kidney transplant candidates about their willingness to accept a kidney from a donor who might be at higher risk of viral infection. Most (58.9%) would accept at least some risk.
The results may not surprise. But they're a sobering reflection of a crucial need. And they're worth thinking about: How much risk would you accept? The answer for those not on the wait list may depend on whether they know someone on the wait list.
- the study, as it will appear in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
- the press release from the American Society of Nephrology.
- statistics from the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse on kidney and urologic diseases.
- general information from the Mayo Clinic on kidney transplants.
- a recent L.A. Times article about the long-term health of people who donate kidneys (at least as good, if not better, than people who don't donate kidneys)
- a first-person piece, also from The Times, about kidney donation.
- and information from the National Kidney Foundation on how to become a living donor.
-- Tami Dennis
Illustration credit: Jon Conrad / For The Times