SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good Things Utah) – University of Utah Health is answering questions about living organ donation and what that all involves.

What is living donor donation?
• With so few organs available for transplantation, living donation is the best way we have to continue to save lives. Transplanting organs from a living donor is the best means of donation because of the following benefits:
• The quality of organs that are donated by living donors is usually better than organs from deceased donors. These organs can last much longer than those from deceased donors
• The waiting time for a patient needing a transplant will be reduced because the donor surgery can be scheduled at a time that is optimal for both the donor and the recipient.
• The time between removing the organ (or part of the organ) and transplanting it in the recipient will be shorter.

What is a living donor chain?
• Living donor chains occur when more than one donor and recipient are affected. For instance, former U of U Health patient Kaden received a kidney from a stranger. Kaden’s mom donated one of her kidneys to another recipient, in turn. This “chain” can continue if Kaden’s mom’s recipient has another incompatible donor.

Which organs can be donated via a living donor?
• Kidneys – you only need one
• Liver – your liver regenerates (it’s the only organ that can do this!)

Who Donates?
• Do you assume that only family members can donate a kidney? In fact, anyone can donate a kidney to a spouse, close friend, or someone you haven’t met before. There are four types of living donations:

  1. Living related donation (LRD): The living donor is a blood relative (like a parent, child, or sibling).
  2. Living unrelated donation (LURD): The living donor is not a blood relative. These living donors can include spouses, friends, co-workers, or members of the same community.
  3. Living non-directed donation (NDD): This is a type of donation where the donor and recipient do not know each other. It’s sometimes called an “anonymous” donation.
  4. Paired donation: This type of donation matches incompatible donor/recipient pairs with other incompatible donor/recipient pairs. A donor and recipient are incompatible if their blood group and tissue type don’t match.

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Sponsored by University of Utah Health.