By Tom Lister, The GuardianThe cost of a kidney can go up dramatically if you have a chronic condition that increases your risk of complications.
“A kidney is the single most expensive organ in the body,” says Dr Peter Smith, an expert on kidneys at the University of Newcastle.
“You have to think about it from an economic perspective and it’s not just about the kidney itself but the kidneys that support the heart, the kidneys for blood circulation, the kidney for the blood vessels and the blood-producing glands in the kidneys, and the liver and pancreas.”
In a very high-risk group of people, the cost of having a kidney transplant is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
“But if you look at the total cost of life, that figure is far less.”
I can tell you that if you were in your 50s and 60s and had a heart attack, and you had a normal, healthy kidney and you were on a transplant programme, it would cost you between £1,000 and £2,000, or more than $2,500.
“That is a very big price to pay.”
A kidney transplant can save your life.
The most common types of kidney transplants are:A kidney can be the only source of life for an individual who has a chronic disease that increases the risk of serious complications.
There are a number of complications to consider, including:An infection, a blood clot in the blood, or a kidney failure that causes a blockage in the vein or blood supply to the kidneysThe transplanted kidney may be an organ that is not well suited for youIf you are older, your health may not be as good as it could beIf you have some other type of medical condition, including kidney disease, or if you are over 70 years of age, the chances of needing a kidney are increasedA lack of awareness and awareness is also a major problem.
“The biggest challenge is not knowing that a transplant is on the horizon,” says Professor Steve Wight, of the University Hospitals of Liverpool.
“There is no information.
It is just a case of waiting for a phone call or a letter.”
He believes the public has been lulled into a false sense of security.
“People have been living in a false and misleading sense of safety that if they have a kidney they can get a transplant.”
If you want to get a kidney, you have to be at least 65, that is, you must be fit and healthy.
“But it is only when people are really, really sick that people can really think that it’s worth getting a transplant, says Professor Wight.”
When someone has been on dialysis for years, they will tell you they are going to die.
They will tell the truth.
“For some, getting a kidney is not the easiest decision they have ever made.
But for others, getting one can be an incredible and life-changing experience.
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