(Finger slip caused premature submitting)
The Secretary of Health mandated one year of follow-up on all living donors in 2000, but transplant centers chose to be noncompliant. In 2009, a taskforce called the database "woefully incomplete" and "useless" for research or analysis. In 2013 under pressure from HRSA (dept of health), OPTN agreed to a revised follow-up policy, but it still only applies to one year post-donation. No hospital has been penalized for noncompliance. Meanwhile, transplant recipients are tracked in a govt sponsored registry for 10 years.
Two recent studies indicate that living kidney donors have an 8-11x increased risk of kidney failure as compared to their healthy counterpart. Only a year post-donation, some LKDs are showing heart and blood changes associated with heart disease. LKDs lose 20-65% of their pre-donation kidney function. A 10% reduction is known to significantly increase the risk of heart disease and death.
As the sister of a transplant recipient, I understand the burden of kidney failure. But as a living kidney donor, I find this constant minimization of the reality and risks of living kidney donation to be dangerous and unethical. The public should never be regarded as medical supply. We deserve the same respect given to recipients. Living donors are people too.
PS. you can find references to all statements made above at www.livingdonor101.com and www.livingdonorsarepeopletoo.com