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LIVING DONATION

Donating a kidney to someone who urgently needs it is one of the most remarkable things you can do. Discover what’s involved and how to start your journey to becoming a donor.

LIVING DONATION

Matching process

WHO WILL RECEIVE MY DONATED KIDNEY?

Once you have decided to donate a kidney and have completed all the health checks to make sure you are fit and able to donate, NHS Blood and Transplant then finds the most suitable person to receive your kidney. If the donation is directed towards a particular person (known as a ‘directed donation’) then they will begin tests to make sure you are able and suitable to donate.

The transplantation is then arranged by the local kidney transplant centres for the donor and recipient.

All non-directed donor kidneys either:

Go to a high priority recipient on the waiting list

Or, they are donated into the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme (UKLKSS), which allows up to three kidney transplants across the country.

WHAT IS THE UK LIVING KIDNEY SHARING SCHEME (UKLKSS)?

The sharing scheme involves two or more donor/recipient ‘couples’. One person in each couple is waiting for a kidney transplant, and the other wants to give a kidney to them but is not a good enough match (for example if their blood type is different). When this happens, the donor can then volunteer to give a kidney to a couple in a similar situation, in return for a kidney which is more suitable for their coupled person. This means the kidneys are ‘swapped’ to a recipient who matches better with each donor. By the donors donating their kidneys to someone else, their recipients will get the kidneys they need. 

This sharing scheme can happen between two ‘couples’, or it can involve more than two couples. 

If a non-directed living donor offers to donate their kidney without being part of a couple, it can ‘trigger’ a donor chain with two or three people receiving a kidney, who may not otherwise find a suitable transplant. When this happens, a single living donor kidney can enable up to three transplants – helping three recipients waiting for a kidney. 

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Journey?

Whether you’ve already decided to donate a kidney, or you are interested in finding out more about the process and what it involves, we’re here to answer any questions you might have.

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