Once your doctors decide that you’re a good transplant candidate, the search for your new kidney begins. You may receive a kidney from three possible sources – a living person related to you by blood, a living person unrelated to you such as a spouse or a close friend, or a deceased donor.
Living donors are usually from the immediate family: mother, father, sisters, brothers, or children. They may also be cousins, aunts, or uncles.
For a healthy individual, donating a kidney is safe, and recovery is rapid. Having only one kidney will not affect the donor’s health in any way. You and the donor’s kidney must be compatible for your new kidney to work properly.
To determine compatibility, blood types are compared using the following parameters:
|Blood Type||Can Receive a Kidney From||Can Generally Donate a Kidney To|
|O||O||A, B, AB, O|
|A||A, O||A, AB|
|B||B, O||B, AB|
|AB||A, B, AB, O||AB|
Occasionally, a person will receive a kidney from a living but unrelated individual, such as a spouse, in-law, or very close friend. However, more than half of all kidney recipients receive organs from deceased (cadaveric) donors. Because of a shortage in donor organs, the waiting period for suitable cadaveric kidneys may last up to two years.
When a kidney becomes available, certain patients will receive first consideration: