Right now, more than 120,000 people are on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waitlist for an organ match to receive a transplant. Even if someone currently is on the waitlist, they aren't guaranteed to receive the organ. If a patient has to wait too long, their health could start to decline and become worse. However, living donors have the opportunity to help a person in need of an organ transplant immediately.
What’s a Living Donor Transplantation?
A living donor transplant is an option where instead of waiting for a matching kidney from a deceased donor, they’ll receive one from a living donor. In this situation, a living donor should be an overall healthy person both mentally and physically. In some cases living, donor transplants are the only hope for some patients to have a second chance at life. Living donors have a chance to save a life while they’re still living.
Who is a Living Donor?
A living donor refers to a healthy person who can be blood relative to the recipient is in need of a liver transplant. A living donor also can be a close, non-blood-related friend of relative that wishes to donate a portion of their liver. The living donor could be:
- Family members (parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, uncles)
- Religious group members
- Family friends
- Anonymous donors
Benefits of a living donor transplant:
Shorter Wait Time
Living donor transplants can take place much sooner and can be scheduled when it is convenient for you and your donor.
Quicker Recover Time
Generally, living donor recipients recover faster than those with deceased donors.
The Kidney Functions Better and Longer
An organ from a living donor functions better and longer than deceased donor organs.
More Time with Family
It’s possible to have the transplant scheduled before dialysis is required. This means the recipient can have a better outcome and more time with their loved ones.
Lower Rejection Rate
Living donor kidney transplants offer a lower rejection rate than one from a deceased donor.
Help Save More Lives
Living donor transplants allows recipients to be removed from the waitlist. This can help to possibly shorten the time for others still waiting on the waitlist and help increase the number of kidney transplants.