Over 100,000 people need a transplant in the USMayo Clinic - Living Kidney Donation
transplant frequently asked questions
Direct donation vs. donor chainsYou can donate your kidney directly to someone you know -- OR -- You can be part of a transplant chain.
If you aren't a match to one you want to donate to, a chain allows you to donate to someone else in a chain of people that includes the one you want to help. Another person in the chain will then ultimately donate to your person. You can follow these links to videos describing some experiences:
- 100TH Non-directed kidney donation a major milestone for MN health organ transplant program
- Watch ABC news video - very touching story about a chain of 34 people helped
- Watch Kris' story
- Make me a match - podcast (if you are short on time, scroll ahead to minute 30)
Cadaver kidneys vs. live donor kidneysThere are two ways a person can receive a donated kidney, either due to the death of a person or because someone decided to donate one of their kidneys. While cadavor kidneys can provide precious renewal of life for a person with kidney failure, live donor kidneys offer these additional benefits
- shorter term wait for a transplant. The average wait for a cadaver kidney is between 5 to 7 years. If a live donor can be matched to the recipient, the wait time can be significatnly reduced. This is so important because the person with kidney failure often suffers many other side effects of being without a funcioning kidney.
- Long-term survival is markedly improved among patients who receive a donor kidney compared with patients who remain on dialysis
- the transplanted kidney lasts longer. On average, approximately 18 years for a kidney from a living donor compared to 13 years for a kidney from a deceased donor
- Living donor kidneys almost always start functioning immediately, whereas deceased donor kidneys can take from a few days to a few weeks to start functioning. (Often called a Sleepy Kidney)
- Perhaps the most important aspect of living donation is the psychological benefit. The recipient can experience positive feelings knowing that the gift came from a loved one or a caring stranger. The donor experiences the satisfaction of knowing that he or she has contributed to the improved health of the recipient.