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Concern for kidney donors' health

WASHINGTON -- More and more people are donating a kidney to a loved one, a friend, even a stranger, and now a move is on to make sure those donors really fare as well as they're promised.

Specialists insist the surgery rarely brings serious complications for the donor. What's less certain are any long-term health consequences, in part because transplant centers can lose track of donors.

"Who's taking care of the donor after the surgery? Really, no one is," says donor Krystal McLear, 32, of Indian Head, Md., who serves on a committee for the United Network for Organ Sharing.

The network is debating some new policies to change that. Among the proposals: A checklist for evaluating would-be donors and fully explaining the risks, plus better monitoring of donors' health and social stability for two years. Centers would have to track such things as the condition of the remaining kidney, and whether the donor has a hard time getting health or life insurance afterward. -- AP

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