Donate Life America has some fantastic information on living donation. I follow a friend online who requires a new liver. She was matched to a living donor, and she should be getting her new liver in July! Someone took that step and sacrifice to give a partial organ to someone in need. Now, Ricky will be able to enjoy taking her daughter to school or grocery shopping, enjoy a cool sunny morning without waking up in pain, and be part of something like no other! Here is some information from the Living Donor page on Donate Life America. Be sure to visit their page for more information on ways to participate!
Who can be a living donor?
While many people are willing to be living donors, not everyone has the qualities necessary to participate in living donation. Donors must be chosen carefully in order to avoid outcomes that are medically and psychologically unsatisfactory.
While the individual circumstances of each potential donor are discussed privately and tested to determine compatibility, all potential donors must be genuinely willing to donate, physically fit, in good general health; and free from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and heart disease.
Individuals considered for living donation are usually between 18-60 years of age. Gender and race are not factors in determining a successful match.
Types of living donation
Although not all transplant centers perform all types, living donation has expanded to include many variations since the practice began in 1954, including:
Related - Blood relatives of transplant candidates including brothers, sisters, parents, children (over 18 years of age), aunts, uncles, cousins, half brothers & sisters, nieces and nephews.
Non-Related - Individuals emotionally close to, but not related by blood to transplant candidates, including spouses, in-law relatives, close friends, coworkers, neighbors or other acquaintances.
Non-Directed - Individuals who are not related to or known by the recipient, but make their donation purely out of selfless motives. This type of donation is also referred to as anonymous, altruistic, altruistic stranger, and stranger-to-stranger living donation.
Paired Donation - Consists of two kidney donor/recipient pairs whose blood types are not compatible. The two recipients trade donors so that each recipient can receive a kidney with a compatible blood type. Once the evaluations of all donors and recipients are completed, the two kidney transplant operations are scheduled to occur simultaneously.
Kidney Donor Waiting List Exchange - If a paired exchange cannot be found, living donors in certain areas of the country may be eligible for living kidney donor list exchange. In this type of exchange, a kidney donor who is not compatible with their intended recipient offers to donate to a stranger on the waiting list. In return, the intended recipient advances on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney. This type of living donation is also referred to as list-paired exchange and living donor/deceased exchange.
Blood Type Incompatible - This type of donation allows candidates to receive a kidney from a living donor who has an incompatible blood type. To prevent immediate rejection of the kidney, recipients undergo plasmapheresis treatments before and after the transplant to remove harmful antibodies from the blood, as well as the removal of the spleen at the time of transplant.
Positive Crossmatch - The positive crossmatch process is similar to the process used for ABO-incompatible living-donor kidney transplants, where patients can receive kidneys from living donors with blood types incompatible with their own. Similarly, treating patients with plasmapheresis also greatly reduces the chance of organ rejection in patients with elevated antibody levels. Previously, these elevated antibody levels made tissue rejection almost certain. Positive crossmatch live donor kidney transplants are usually only performed if no other live donors (with a negative crossmatch) exist.