Living organ donation dates back to 1954 when doctors in Boston, MA successfully transplanted the kidney of one twin into his identical twin brother. Today, the number of living organ donors is more than 6,000 per year. One in four of these donors isn’t is not biologically related to the recipient.
Qualifications for Living Donors
In order to qualify as a living donor, an individual must be 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, but donors usually have a blood type compatible with the intended recipient. There is a type of donation called “Blood Type Incompatibility” that 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.
Routine tests are also always performed to determine the potential donor's level of physical and mental health, and compatibility with the patient awaiting a transplant.
Transplant centers must also implement a written living donor informed consent process that informs the prospective living donor of all aspects of and potential outcomes from living donation.
To begin the process of becoming a Living Donor, contact your nearest transplant center.
Living donor transplants are a viable alternative for patients in need of new organs. Many different types of organs can be supplied by living donors, including:
This is the most frequent type of living organ donation. For the donor, there is little risk in living with one kidney because the remaining kidney compensates to do the work of both kidneys.
Individuals can donate a segment of the liver, which has the ability to regenerate and regain full function.
Although lung lobes do not regenerate, individuals can donate a lobe of one lung.
Although very rare, it is possible to donate a portion of your intestine.
Individuals can also donate a portion of the pancreas. Like the lung, the pancreas does not regenerate, but donors usually have no problems with reduced function.
A domino transplant makes some heart-lung recipients living heart donors. When a patient receives a heart-lung "bloc" from a deceased donor, his or her healthy heart may be given to an individual waiting for a heart transplant. Extremely rare, this procedure is used when physicians determine that the deceased donor lungs will function best if they are used in conjunction with the deceased donor heart.
Funding the living donor transplant
Please Visit: http://www.transplantliving.org/livingdonation/financialaspects/default.aspx
Attribution (from transplantliving.org 7/25/2007)http://www.transplantliving.org/livingdonation/default.aspx
National Living Donor Assistance Center