If you’ve ever had to go to the emergency room or the emergency department after a kidney infection, you know how painful it can be to wait in line for an appointment.
In the meantime, you’re also likely to have a higher risk of having an allergic reaction to an organ donor’s body parts.
So what’s a kidney donor to do?
Don’t go to emergency rooms and doctors are the first line of defense for your health, says Dr. Richard E. Gaffney, an anesthesiologist and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
In an article published online last week in the Journal of Clinical Anesthesiology, he discusses the importance of following these steps when you’re considering a kidney donation: Choose a kidney that’s more likely to survive the transplant.
Choose a donor with an immune system that’s immune to the infection.
Choose donors who have had no problems with allergies or chronic infections.
If your family has had an allergic or chronic infection before the transplant, consider donating to a family member or a friend.
Consider getting a blood transfusion, which can be a life-saving intervention if the donor’s immune system is compromised.
If you have an autoimmune disease, consider taking blood thinners, antibiotics, and anticoagulants, which are available from specialty pharmacies or can be obtained from the hospital.
In addition to these precautions, you should avoid: drinking alcohol or taking drugs, especially if you’ve had an adverse reaction to the organ donor.
This can make your blood more likely the donor to react to the transplant and give you an allergic response.
The organ donor should not be able to feel or smell the organ.
In most cases, this is a good thing.
In cases where a donor’s skin is sensitive to certain substances or can become infected with the virus, you can ask your doctor about this.
If a donor has a history of serious diseases, such as heart disease, asthma, or diabetes, you may need to consider a kidney with a special donor, such a someone who has a heart defect.
You may also want to consider donating a kidney to someone with liver disease.
People with liver problems can sometimes receive organ donations from people with liver diseases.
However, there’s no definitive proof that liver donors are more likely than others to live long and healthy lives.
Some studies have shown that the risk of death and cancer associated with a liver transplant is about one-third greater in people with a history or genetic mutation associated with liver failure than in the general population, says Gaffey.
So you should be aware of the risks associated with organ donation and consider taking a liver test to make sure you’re a good match for the organ, says Erika D. Kallenberg, a clinical professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
If someone has liver disease, your transplant may not be an option.
If the liver disease is severe and can’t be managed with drugs or surgery, you could receive a liver biopsy or other procedure to remove the remaining cells, which would be a more drastic treatment than transplanting the organs, according to a 2007 study published in the journal Nature Medicine.
If this is not an option, the donor may still have the ability to function in your body.
Some organ donation centers offer kidney donation, but there are other ways you can get your kidney: Donate blood.
Donating blood is the most common method of kidney donation because donors’ blood supply is often the most limited.
There are a few advantages to donating blood, including: Your kidney may be less likely to get infections and infection-related cancers.