About Living Donations
A living organ donation is when a healthy, living person volunteers one of their organs or part of an organ for transplantation to another person. 47% of all transplanted organs in the U.S. are from living donors.
Living Organ Donation
Living donors increase the organ supply and enable more patients to receive life-saving transplants. Kidney and liver transplant candidates who are able to receive a living donor transplant can receive the best quality organ much sooner, often in less than a year. This frees up space on the organ transplant waiting list, giving hope to others.
Who Can Be a Living Donor?
Anyone 18+ years and in overall good physical and mental health can be a living donor.
A direct donation is when a living donor knows or has met the recipient. This is the most common type of living donation, as immediate family members are most likely to be the best match.
On average, 1 in 4 living donors are not biologically related to the recipient. A non-direct donation is when the transplant match is arranged based on medical compatibility for a patient in need. Some non-directed donors choose to never meet their recipient.
Paired Donation — Kidneys only
A kidney paired donation (KPD), also called kidney exchange, occurs when a transplant candidate has an interested living donor, but tests reveal the kidney is not a good medical match. KPD gives transplant candidates the opportunity to swap their living donor kidneys so each recipient can receive a compatible transplant.
Types of Donations
A kidney is the most commonly donated organ and also the organ in highest demand among people waiting for an organ transplant. Living donors may also donate a portion of their liver or a lobe of their lung. A living donor’s tissue can be used for reconstructive procedures to promote healing for burns and wounds. Studies have shown, patients who receive a living donation tend to have better long-term health outcomes.