Options for Living Kidney Donation

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Compatability

Understanding kidney matching

UW Health offers many options for people who are interested in donating a kidney. Each option helps people who need a kidney transplant receive the best-matched kidney. When donated kidneys are well-matched to the recipient, they last longer and have fewer problems. These options also mean that anyone who is older than age 18, and in good physical and emotional health, may become a living kidney donor.

 

In a direct kidney donation the donor is a good match with their intended recipient.Direct Kidney Donation

 

Definition: The donor is a good match with their intended recipient.

 

Who? Donors are often family members or close friends, but it’s not unusual for a stranger to be a better match.

 

When? The kidney is donated the same day it is transplanted into the recipient.

 

Why? The emotional connection between donors and their recipient, timing and the ease of moving the kidney from the donor to the recipient lead to many direct donations.

 

Non-Directed Donation

 Non-directed living kidney donation allows donors to donate without having an intended recipient

Definition: The donor does not know anyone who needs a kidney, but wants to donate to someone who needs a kidney.

 

Who? Anyone who is older than age 18 and in good physical and emotional health.

 

When? Because all our non-directed donors are listed with the National Kidney Registry, timing is based on when the donors and recipients are ready.

 

Why? Non-directed donors often start kidney exchanges that result in more transplants. This donor’s kidney may go to someone on our wait list, or someone on the waitlist at another transplant center that participates in the National Kidney Registry.

 

Paired kidney exchange occurs when a donor doesn't match to their recipientPaired Kidney Exchange

 

Definition: The donor does not match their recipient. The donor donates to someone else and their recipient gets a kidney from a stranger. This exchange can happen between two donors and recipients, or many donors and recipients.

 

Who? Donors who can donate a kidney but do not match their recipient.

 

When? Timing is based on when each donor and recipient are ready.

 

Why? If the donor and recipient have different blood types, or the recipient has sensitivity issues or other reasons why they are not a good match with their recipient, the donor can still donate and the recipient can still get a kidney.

 

How? The donor and recipient are listed with the National Kidney Registry. Our team decides what types of donor kidneys they will accept for each recipient. When a match is found, we decide if it’s a good kidney for that recipient. If it is, the surgery dates are set but if it isn’t, the donor and recipient stay listed for future matching.

 

Compatible Share

  

Definition: The donor’s kidney matches the recipient, but a different donor might provide a much better match.

 

Who? Donors and recipients who want a better match due to age, size or anatomy, or donors who want to help more people by starting a kidney exchange.Compatible share is when a donor's kidney matches the recipient, but a different donor may be a better match.

 

When? Timing is based on finding a better match, and when each donor and recipient are ready.

 

Why? When donated kidneys are well-matched to the recipient, they last longer and cause fewer problems.

 

How? The donor and recipient are listed with the National Kidney Registry. Our team decides what types of donor kidneys they will accept for each recipient. When a match is found, we decide if it’s a good kidney for that recipient. If it is, the surgery dates are set but if it isn’t, the donor and recipient stay listed for future matching.

 

Advanced Donation – The Voucher Program

 

Definition: The donor donates their kidney to someone in need, and their intended recipient gets a kidney when they need one.

 

Who? Donors who wish to secure a kidney for their intended recipient, when the recipient needs a kidney transplant. These donors create a ‘bank’ of kidneys for individuals who may need a transplant later.

Advanced donation is when a donor donates to someone in need and their intended recipient gets a kidney when they need one.

 

When? The donation happens when the donor is ready. The recipient gets a kidney when they need one in the future.

 

Why? The donor is ready to donate, but the recipient does not need a transplant now but will likely need one in the future; or the recipient is receiving a kidney from someone else now but will likely need another transplant in the future. These donors may also wish to start a kidney exchange now, or may be too old to donate later, when their recipient needs a transplant. How? These donors are listed with the National Kidney Registry.

 

Advanced Donation - Short Term

 

Definition: The donor donates their kidney to someone in need, and their intended recipient gets a kidney when they need one.

 Advanced donation means a donor donates at a time convenient for them and their recipient will be prioritized for the next well-matched kidney.

Who? Donors and recipients whose timeline for giving/receiving the kidney does not match.

 

When? The donation happens when the donor is ready. The recipient gets a kidney when they are ready. They will be prioritized for the next well-matched kidney.

 

Why? The donor is ready to donate but has a window of time when they can donate (teachers, seasonal workers) or life events that must be avoided (weddings, travel) but the recipient cannot be transplanted at that time (health issues, other reasons).

 

How? These donors are listed with the National Kidney Registry to donate during their window of available time. They will start a kidney exchange. The recipient is also listed with the National Kidney Registry, but is inactive on the list until they are ready to be transplanted. They will be prioritized for the next well-matched kidney.