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Kidney donation: what are the risks?

I recently wrote a blog post "Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering".  I commented that most blog posts on this website are primarily written for fellow health professionals & others interested in an evidence-based approach to stress, health & wellbeing.  However this sequence of posts about kidney donation are different in that they are written mainly for other potential kidney donors and their friends & families.  I hope a personal story about a fellow donor's experience will be helpful, especially as my background in medicine & psychology may colour these posts usefully.

Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering

Yesterday the transplant surgeon, Gabriel Oniscu, said he or one of his colleagues plan to take out my left kidney very soon.  It makes the scheduled operation a bit more 'real' in my mind, knowing which kidney is going be handed on to someone else (with a greater need for it than me). It's another step on the donation journey I've been travelling for some months now.  Most blog posts on this website are primarily written for fellow health professionals & others interested in evidence-based approaches to stress, health & wellbeing.  This post (and I hope later several others) are different in that they are written mainly for other potential kidney donors and their friends & families.  A personal story about a fellow donor's experience will, I hope, be helpful.

Recent research: six studies on depression – bereavement, pregnancy, bipolar disorder, suicide, & stress in hospital staff

Five of these six studies are from last month's American Journal of Psychiatry.  Kendler et al discuss the many similarities and only occasional differences between bereavement-related and other life event-related depression - an issue explored further in Maj's editorial.  Li et al show that depression in pregnancy (exacerbated further by stressful life events and obesity) increases the risk of preterm delivery.  Miklowitz reviews research on the value of adjunctive psychotherapy for bipolar disorder sufferers (already taking medication) and discusses the various ways it can be helpful.  Oquendo et al (in a freely viewable editorial) argue that suicidal behaviour should be placed on a "separate axis" in the next version of the DSM diagnostic system.  Finally Vertanen et al, in an interesting study, demonstrate that increased hospital overcrowding - measured by bed occupancy rates - is associated with increased use of antidepressants by hospital staff.

Kendler, K. S., J. Myers, et al. (2008). "Does Bereavement-Related Major Depression Differ From Major Depression Associated With Other Stressful Life Events?" Am J Psychiatry 165(11): 1449-1455.  [Abstract/Full Text]  

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