A growing understanding of the health and psychosocial risks associated with being a living kidney donor is helping drive innovations that will improve the informed consent process, according to recent research.
Receiving a kidney donated by a living donor greatly improves the outcomes of patients with kidney failure. But it also creates risks for the 30,000 otherwise healthy donors around the world who donate kidneys each year. Ensuring that living donors give proper informed consent is essential. Now, a growing body of evidence on the risks associated with living kidney donation and emerging tools to help clinicians and patients assess them are helping to improve the process of informed consent.
“Our ability to walk donors through informed consent has exponentially improved,” said Robert S. Gaston, MD, director of the Comprehensive Transplantation Institute at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. “I think we will be able to plug [information] into a calculator really soon and give an absolute risk.” Gaston spoke at a Kidney Week 2016 symposium.