What Do Kidneys Do?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine.
Kidneys execute essential functions that affect many other organs and tissue in your body. They are the master chemist working inside you. Your kidney are involved in many multifaceted processes that keep the rest of your body in balance. Your kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from your body and make hormones that control your blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep your bones strong and healthy.
Organ Donation: The Need
There are over 106,000 people in need on an organ transplant and 83% of those people are in need of a kidney. Their wait time could be 1 year, or up to 10 years. That’s a long time to wait. Without life-sustaining dialysis or a kidney transplant, that person would die quickly. Some people live a long and active life on dialysis. However, a kidney transplant can allow that person to live many years dialysis-free.
Kidney transplants have a tremendous success rate. In fact, in 97.2% of recipients, the donated kidney is still working at the one year mark. (Wang, 2016)1
Get a Kit
To help you spread the word about giving the gift of life, we’ll send you a “Share Your Spare” Kit, a gift to you from RSN with a donation of $50. In your kit you’ll find two plush kidneys, two information booklets, one to keep and one to give away. Share video clip or a photo that shows you sharing the plush kidney and information booklet with someone and use the hashtag #RSNShareYour Spare. Don’t forget to tag us @RSNhope so we can see your post!
What Causes Kidneys to Fail?
High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure. It’s silent and you have no symptoms. Diabetes is the first. Sometimes a trauma can cause your kidneys to stop working suddenly, but usually kidneys get sick over a period of months or years. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, you should see a doctor right away!
Treatment Options for Kidney Failure
Treatment options for kidney disease include in center hemodialysis, home hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis (also done at home), no treatment and a kidney transplant for people who are eligible due to medical criteria. Unless your damaged kidneys cause infections, high blood pressure or are cancerous, they can remain in your body.
Slow the Progression of Kidney Disease
You can protect the health of your kidneys by preventing or managing health conditions that cause kidney damage, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. There are also some things you can do, such as making healthy food choices and taking other steps to prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.
Register to Be a Donor
You can sign up to be an organ donor, which is then indicated on your driver’s license. It’s important to express your wishes to your close family members so they can carry out those wishes if something unexpected happens to you.
Living Donation Options
You can become an altruistic donor. This means that right now, while you’re still alive, you can donate one of your kidneys. You can give a kidney to someone you know, or even sign up to donate a kidney to someone you don’t know.
Your special voice can have a powerful impact raising awareness about kidney disease and organ donation. We’ll give you tips to help you share information with your friends, followers and the online community.
More Organ Donation Resources
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