Thursday, April 18, 2024

In the US, a doctor donates his kidney to a patient he has never met


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — With more than 90,000 people in the United States waiting to receive a kidney donation, Dr. Aleksandra Gmurczyk was able to help two people on the waiting list.

In turn, he started mutual donation and donated his kidney to a woman he had never met.

This happens when a person is ready to donate his kidney to someone in his life who needs it, but it is not suitable for him. Thus, the recipient is exchanged with another donor.

In this case, Kmurchik’s kidney was donated to a woman in Virginia in February, according to Northwestern Medicine.

The patient’s husband donated his kidney to someone else at Northwestern Medicine due to his wife’s incompatibility.

“I don’t want to donate to one person in particular,” said Jemurczyk, a nephrologist and assistant professor at Northwestern Medicine.

By donating a double kidney, he felt he had the opportunity to help many more.

In 2020, 22,817 kidney transplants were performed in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. According to the National Kidney Foundation, on average, it takes about three to five years for a patient to be matched with a kidney donor.

Gmurchik often sees cases of patients with kidney failure, in which the kidneys are unable to filter waste and toxins from the bloodstream, forcing them to undergo dialysis.

Although treatment varies depending on the level of care needed, according to the National Kidney Foundation, dialysis is usually performed three times a week for about four hours.

There is still a long list of patients waiting to receive a donation. However, some are afraid of undergoing a transplant because of mistrust of the health care system or donor requirements.

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And 9 years ago, Gmurcik began to think about how to change the minds of these people. And he decided to donate one of his kidneys to increase people’s confidence in the procedure and encourage others to donate.

Kidney donations from living people start working almost immediately, and those from deceased donors can work twice as long, 15 to 20 years and 10 to 12 years, Kmurczyk says.

After her kidney was matched with a patient’s kidney in Virginia, Gemurczyk underwent kidney function tests and an abdominal scan to find the small kidney that would eventually be donated.

Her care team includes another urologist, a pharmacist, a surgeon, a social worker and a donor advocate.

Donor advocates work to ensure that donors are not coerced or paid. Social workers help provide support to donors, making sure they have someone to look after them at home after surgery.

“Transplant recipients need support,” Gmurczyk said, “and many don’t even have a person to help them after surgery.”

Gmurczyk has already reaped the rewards of his donation.

One of his patients was skeptical about a kidney transplant, but decided to begin the evaluation process.

Bill Dittman
Bill Dittman
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