Replacing failed kidneys with a kidney from a living or dead donor.
Medicines which prevent the immune response of the body from destroying a transplanted organ
The body's natural defence mechanism against infectious diseases.
The process by which the immune system of the body can reject a transplanted organ
The person who receives a new healthy organ in a transplant operation
Cells which can divide repeatedly without becoming differentiated and have the capacity to develop into a diverse range of specialised cell types.
A protein on the surface of a pathogenic microorganism, which can stimulate a response from the immune system.
When a blood clot forms in the brain as a result of atherosclerosis or there is bleeding in the brain. It can be fatal.
A structure with a particular function which is made up of different tissues.
The person who donates an organ for a transplant operation
If the kidneys fail completely they may be replaced by a kidney transplant. In a transplant the functions of the failing kidneys are taken over by a single healthy kidney from a donor. The donor kidney is joined to the blood vessels and the bladder in the groin of the patient (the recipient) and shortly after a successful transplant urine begins to flow from the new kidney. If all goes well the transplanted kidney will function normally in its new body, cleaning and balancing the blood.
One kidney is enough to remove the waste urea and balance the blood of an individual for the rest of their lives. However, most transplanted kidneys only last about 9 years. Once they begin to fail again the patient will have to return to dialysis or have another transplant if a donor becomes available.
One big problem is rejection. The protein markers (antigens) on a kidney are usually different from a patient's protein markers. The patient's immune system detects this difference and may reject the new kidney. Immunosuppressant medicines are used to suppress the immune system to prevent rejection.
a) Give two reasons why the number of available donor organs has fallen in recent years.