About Living Kidney Donation

There are four types of living kidney donation:

  • Living related donation – The donated kidney comes from a blood relative
  • Living unrelated donation – The donated kidney comes from someone who is not a blood relative
  • Non-directed donation – The living donor does not specify that his or her kidney go to a particular person, but instead to the most compatible person on the waiting list
  • Paired donation – An incompatible kidney donor and recipient pair are matched with another incompatible donor and recipient pair, and the donated kidneys are exchanged between the pairs
Paired donation

Living kidney donors must be 18 years of age or older, in good physical and mental health, and be willing and fully prepared to undertake the transplant process. Every prospective donor is evaluated individually, and factors such as race and gender do not come into play when our team considers a successful match.

If a prospective living-kidney recipient’s blood type is:

  • O, a prospective donor’s blood type must also be type O
  • A, a prospective donor’s blood type can be type A or O
  • B, a prospective donor’s blood type can be type B or O
  • AB, a prospective donor’s blood type can be type A, B, AB, or O

We assign each prospective kidney donor to a living donor coordinator, a social worker, a transplant nephrologist (kidney doctor), and a transplant surgeon. Our team then thoroughly evaluates each prospective donor to ensure good health and to determine if his or her kidneys are biologically compatible with someone who needs one.

The prospective donor also meets with an independent living donor advocate to ensure that the prospective donor’s interests and rights are being protected and that he or she is under no pressure to donate.

It is important to note that donor participation is completely voluntary, and prospective living-kidney donors may decide not to participate at any time during the transplant process without repercussions. A person’s decision to opt out of donating a kidney for any reason is private and kept confidential.