Stories tagged kidney

Yesterday in Washington, D.C., operations in two hospitals swapped 13 kidneys between 26 different bodies in the largest kidney transplant process ever conducted. Most of the recipients had conditions creating a situation where it was hard to match a kidney for their body. But they had to procure a donor for another hard-to-match recipient. Then the doctors mixed and matched all the donors to find the right recipients making for the record operation. Read about it all right here.

Dec
01
2007

And what does a five-kidneyed man dream of?
And what does a five-kidneyed man dream of?Courtesy This Years Love
A New Zealand man was admitted to his local hospital last week with a kidney infection. It turned out that he hardly needed to worry about it, though, because even if the infection completely destroyed one of his kidneys… he would still have four kidneys left!

That’s right, proving once again that things are backwards on the other side of the planet, all tests performed on the man seem to indicate that he has five kidneys, two on the left and three on the right.

I’ve never read Nietzsche, but I’m pretty sure this is what he meant by “ubermensch.” If one or two kidneys makes you a man, then surely five kidneys would make you a superman.

It should be noted that the five kidneys are not scattered willy-nilly throughout the man’s body cavity. The kidneys are all bunched together in the space that we lower humans use to keep our meager two kidneys. What tipped the nephrologists off was that there were several ureters (or “kidney tubes,” as I call them) leading to each kidney. There should only be one ureter (or “pee pipe,” as I call them) per kidney, leading the doctors to believe that the man did indeed have five independent (if bunched up) kidneys.

What’s the upshot of this? Well, the doctors say “nothing,” that having extra kidneys shouldn’t affect the man’s health. I’m no doctor, however, and I have other ideas. Super-strength seems an obvious side effect of extra organs, but, given that we’re dealing with kidneys here, super alcohol consuming abilities seems reasonable as well. I like to imagine that this man can turn buckets of delicious New Zealand beer into buckets of harmless New Zealand urine in just moments. If someone ever trapped him in a tank of beer, this could come in useful. Useful, I guess, if he would rather be trapped in a tank of urine. You never know. The man might also be particularly vulnerable to kidney-punches, something worth keeping in mind if he ever attempts to use his gifts for evil purposes. I’m not sure what these evil purposes would be, although the rapid production of urine comes to mind again.

Science!

Jul
24
2007

Kidney trading: Through a new concept of "paired donation," more people should be able to get kidney transplants faster. Someone needing a kidney, but finding a donor who is not a match will offer that kidney to someone else if they find someone who will donate a kidney that matches their physiology.
Kidney trading: Through a new concept of "paired donation," more people should be able to get kidney transplants faster. Someone needing a kidney, but finding a donor who is not a match will offer that kidney to someone else if they find someone who will donate a kidney that matches their physiology.
Kidney donations have been a pretty common medical procedure for years. But new ground will be broken this week with the first “donation chain” kidney procedures.

We’ve heard the heartbreaking stories. A person with bad kidneys needs a new one. Plenty of family and friends are willing to give up one of theirs, but they’re not a safe medical match.

Donation chains hope to break through those problems. A willing donor is put on a list to give their kidney to someone else who is a match. The organization Alliance for Paired Donation than sorts through all those donors and match-makes kidney donors with people all over the country.

So to participate, a kidney receiver needs offer up a kidney from a willing donor that will go to someone else.

Currently there are more than 72,000 people in U.S. who need kidney donations. This new concept hopes to open up a lot more options to get them the life-saving organs they need faster. While standard kidney donations can take years to line up, for paired donations, the wait is likely to be shorter, in part because while everybody on a paired donation list needs a kidney, everybody on the list also signs up with a person who has a kidney to give.

More information on the Alliance for Paired Donation is available at its website: www.paireddonation.org.

So what do you think? Is this a good way to speed up needed organ transplants? Are there any ethical problems you see with this process? Share your views here with Science Buzz readers.

Here's an interesting article about the ethics and hazards of living organ donation. You have two; would you be willing to give one of your kidneys to a friend or family member? How about a stranger?