Chronic renal failure is a disease that affects more than two million Spaniards, and each year causes the death of approximately five percent of patients, almost always as a result of cardiovascular complications. The aging of the population, and conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and obesity, are the risk factors most strongly associated with a decrease in renal function.

Currently, the kidney transplant It is the most effective treatment to improve the expectation and quality of life of these patients but, despite the fact that Spain is the country where most kidney transplants have been performed during the last five years, there are still more than 4,000 people waiting for an organ.

Although Spain is the country where most kidney transplants have been performed during the last five years, there are still more than 4,000 people waiting for an organ

During the celebration of the XLI National Congress of the Spanish Society of Nephrology (SEN), Dr. María de la Oliva Valentin Muñoz, nephrologist and deputy physician of the National Transplant Organization (ONT), has stressed that patients who have received a kidney living donor they have a longer survival than those to which an organ from a cadaver donor has been transplanted. For this reason, and to reduce the waiting list, experts have pointed out the importance of increasing the percentage of living donor kidney transplants.

Benefits of living donation

The SEN and the ONT, with the collaboration of the Spanish Society of Transplantation, have appointed a group of specialists with the aim of promoting donation of live, and have designed a guide that aims to help medical professionals who perform this type of transplant . The ONT has also developed various strategies to increase the number of donors.

The living donation, as explained by Dr. Constantino Fernández Rivera, deputy physician of the Complexo Hospitalario Universitario Hospital A Coruña, represents important advantages, since it allows to increase the number of transplants and reduce the list of patients waiting for an organ, and the results in the receiver are magnificent. The specialists have also been able to verify that the survival of the renal graft increases if the recipient has been on the waiting list for a short time, especially if he has not yet had to undergo hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, and with the live donation, the process is accelerated, which improves the receiver's chances of survival.

With regard to the consequences that living with a single kidney can have for the donor, recent studies have observed that the quality of life and survival of these donors is similar to that of the rest of the population. On the other hand, the complications that could be derived from the surgical intervention have been reduced thanks to the laparoscopic surgery.

Dr. Fernández Rivera has also emphasized the advantages of living donation for certain types of patients, those who, because they are ABO or HLA incompatible, stay for longer in dialysis treatment, and in those who undergo transplantation. of a kidney graft from a living donor has shown excellent results.

Source: Spanish Society of Nephrology

Kidney Donor Education (November 2019).