National Kidney Transplant Waiting List
Updated November 15, 2022
Kidney Transplants in US – 2022
US Living Donor Transplants – 2022
Living Donor Information
There are many benefits to receiving a kidney from a living donor versus one from a deceased donor:
The most obvious is that a kidney from a living donor lasts on average twice as long as one from a deceased donor.
Studies indicate that the less time the patient is on dialysis, the better the transplant outcome. Receiving a preemptive transplant and never going on dialysis leads to higher transplant success rates.
Medical advances and drugs have made it much easier for someone to be a compatible donor. In the past, living donors needed to be a close relative. Now, it’s more common that a living donor is not related to their recipient.
Transplant recipients generally live twice as long as those who stay on dialysis and transplant recipients are not restricted by the challenging routine of dialysis.
General Facts About Becoming A Living Donor:
You can change your mind at any time during the process. Your decision and reasons will be kept confidential.
Recovery times vary on an individual basis; however, most living donors are released from the hospital within 4-6 days and resume normal activities about four to six weeks after surgery.
Medical expenses for living donation are generally covered by the transplant recipient’s insurance plan. This includes expenses for your evaluation, surgery, and certain follow-up tests and medical appointments.
In most cases transplant centers require follow-up appointments at six, 12 and 24 months after donation.
Living donor qualifications
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be in excellent overall health.
- Have above average kidney function.
- Have a willingness to help.
A living donor does not have to be a blood relative.
Types of Living Donation:
Donor to Known Recipient
Directed donation is where the living donor names who the recipient will be. The recipient may be a blood relative, a spouse, a friend, a co-worker, or some other acquaintance. Most living donations are directed. Currently, there are about 6,000 to 7,000 living kidney donors each year in the U.S. They come from all walks of life, ethnicities, ages, and locations.
Donor to Unrelated Recipient
In this situation, donor/recipient pairs where the donors are not able to donate to the intended recipients because of blood types that aren’t compatible. However, the donor in one pair is compatible with the recipient of the other pair, and vice versa, allowing the donor of one pair to donate to the recipient of the other pair.
Donor to Unknown Recipient
In non-directed donation, the living donor does not specify the recipient. Instead, the recipient is selected from a list of compatible people on a kidney waiting list. This form of donation sometimes is called “anonymous,” “altruistic,” or “Good Samaritan” donation because the donor and recipient do not know each other at the time of donation.
Provides information for patients, medical professionals and the public
Living Donor Advocate
For Kidney Solutions
“As a mother of a kidney recipient, I knew first hand what life was like on dialysis & having a rare kidney disease. So when I was blessed to become an altruistic donor, I felt like I won the golden ticket and was walking into Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I wish I had a 1000 kidneys to do it over and over.”
Kerrville Support Group Meeting