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About living donation

Living donation occurs when a healthy person donates a kidney or part of the liver, lung, intestine, pancreas, bone marrow, or blood to another person.

Living donations are categorized in the following ways:

Directed donation:

  • Living Related Donation: The living donor is biologically related to the recipient, such as a parent, child, brother or sister.
  • Living Unrelated Donation: The living donor is emotionally related to the recipient, such as a good friend, spouse, or in-law.

Non-directed or altruistic donation: These individuals donate to an anonymous candidate on the waiting list. Some donors may eventually meet the transplant candidates, but only if both parties agree.

Living donors are usually between 18 and 60 years of age and are often close relatives of the intended recipient. However, acceptable ages may vary by transplant center and the health of the donor candidate.

The prospective donor must have a compatible blood type, and in the case of kidney donation, tissue type, as determined by lab tests of the donor and recipient.

The donor candidate is carefully evaluated by lab tests, a physical examination, and a psychosocial examination to ensure that the candidate is healthy enough to donate and that he or she is making an informed decision. The decision about whether to accept the donor is then made by the health care team at the transplant center.

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