Who can be a living kidney donor?
To donate a kidney, you must be in good physical and mental health. As a general rule, you should be 18 years or older. You must also have normal kidney function. There are some medical conditions that could prevent you from being a living donor. These include having uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, or acute infections. Having a serious mental health condition that requires treatment may also prevent you from being a donor.
Can smokers be living donors?
Smoking is considered a risk to the potential donor. Because smoking damages the lungs, it may put the donor at a higher risk of developing pneumonia after surgery. Potential donors should be honest with the transplant center about smoking habits to ensure that the donation and transplant are successful.
Different transplant centers have different policies regarding smoking and living donation. Living donors may be asked to quit smoking prior to the donation, and if the person is a heavy smoker, he or she might be asked to see a pulmonary doctor to check breathing.
How do I start the process to see if I can donate a kidney?
If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one to save someone’s life. Click here for more information.
If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one to improve or even save someone else’s life. Ready to take the first step?
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About NKF Cares
NKF Cares is a free, confidential hotline with trained professionals ready to answer your questions or concerns. Our peer-mentoring program, NKF PEERS, connects anyone affected by kidney disease with an informed and supportive mentor who has already been through the process.