Kidney Donation

As of Feb 2015, 123,220 people are on the national waiting list for an organ and 18 people die a day waiting for an organ. Over 100,000 people are awaiting a kidney transplant.

Learn the facts from Donate Life.

There is a critical shortage of donor organs in the U.S., and the time spent waiting for a lifesaving organ can be several years. There are, however, steps you can take to help ease this shortage. Who knows... the life that you save may be that of a loved one or friend.

Living donor kidney transplant

Any person who offers a kidney to a family member or friend undergoes many tests to ensure that they are fit and healthy, and have two well-functioning kidneys.  Detailed compatibility tests are done and some people who wish to donate a kidney cannot proceed, as the risks may be too great to them.

If kidney disease is detected (before the need for dialysis - GFR of 20) early, a transplant can be done to avoid the need for the recipient to go on dialysis.  

Paired donation

A donor and recipient whose blood groups or tissue types are mismatched (or incompatible) can be paired with another donor and recipient in the same situation. This is called 'paired donation'.

Sometimes, more than two donors and two recipients will be involved in the swap (called 'pooled donation') but each recipient will benefit from a transplant that they would not otherwise have had. Local transplant centers will assess whether people are suitable to be put forward for paired donation program. 

Altruistic donation is also an option when a complete stranger donates to someone who needs a kidney. Visit for more info.  


Learn More

Kidney Transplantation: Understanding the Match 
Dr. Rafael Villicana is Associate Director of Kidney Transplantation at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, California and explains blood type compatibility, antigen match and how antibodies tell if the kidney is suited for the recipient.  Play Now 

The Kidney Matchmaker 
Kidney chains, trains, exchanges and paired donation of kidney transplants are gaining media attention and helping people find lifesaving organs and expedite transplantation. Garet Hil, the President and Founder of the National Kidney Registry describes how this works.  Play Now

Eyewitness Account of Kidney Donation
Donating a kidney to a friend or family member is becoming more common. Phillip Palmer, weekday morning anchor for KABC7 Eyewitness News in Los Angeles describe his journey. Play Now