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Kidney Transplant in India- How Old Is Too Old and How Young Is Too Young for the Donors

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If there were a medical emergency in my family, and a member needed to go for a kidney transplant, I believe that I would offer. I am pretty sure that you’d do the same.

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But offering and getting passed to go through with the procedure are different scenarios. And that, my friend, is also the first doubt that surfaces in your head after you decide to give up one of your kidneys to a fellow.

You wonder if you are old enough to donate. You question if you are too old to help.

There Is a General Range, But there Is No Universal Limit

There are no global guidelines to determine who is or isn't eligible age-wise to donate a kidney. However, the general range of age producing most kidney donors in India falls between 18 and 65.

Different hospitals use a different set of rules to filter the prospective organ givers. The screening procedure determines the overall health and thus the eligibility of the patient. And thus, it isn’t always set on an age benchmark to decide if you or I or your grandmother could be a donor or not.

But You Can't Be Too Young- Why?

After a child is six years and older, his or her kidney attains the shape, size, and properties that allow it to be transplanted into another adult. Clearly, a ‘too small organ’ isn’t the reason why countries have a lower limit on the age of organ donation.

You are not allowed to give your kidney to anybody until you turn 18. It is because unless you become an adult legally and remain a minor no longer, you can’t sign on a consent form. It means that you can’t state with all right and authority that you are giving away an organ of yours.

Another probable reason for an 18-year limit could be genetic kidney diseases. Some of these show signs in late teenage and early adulthood, making it difficult to diagnose them.

If a damaged kidney were to pass through the diagnosis because it’s veiled in a kid’s body, a transplant could be fatal for the recipient in worst cases.

And You Can’t Be Too Old- Why?

Doctors say 60 or 65. Sometimes they dare to go as far as 70. But in reality, in this group, it is more the health reports than the age that say yes or no to the person being a donor.

Surgeons look for all health details. They check for the condition of the kidneys and how much it works. Only then do they make a decision on donation capability for older people.

But Should Old People Donate Their Organs?

I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t.

Studies suggest that the chances of organ rejection stay same in both the young and old folks’ donated organs. So does any chance of infection or post-surgery complications.

For obvious reasons, the kidney of a young person will work for longer, and that of an old person will fail or weaken sooner. And yet, the five-year survival rate shows no subsequent difference between the two.

To answer the question- old people can donate an organ for a kidney transplant in India or anywhere in the world if they are healthy and their kidney is functional. It is advisable for a young person to choose a young organ, though, for obvious reasons.

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