March 30, 2016

The importance of living kidney donation


Benefits are great for those who receive organs from living kidney donors.


As you’ll see in the video below, advances are being made on a breakthrough device that can help free kidney patients from dialysis. But the ongoing need for living kidney donation is great: For roughly every 8 people who need a kidney transplant, there is only 1 donor.

That’s why living kidney donation is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

The benefits for recipients:

  • They live longer, healthier lives free from dialysis.
  • Living donor kidneys tend to function faster and better, and last longer than a kidney from a donor who has died.
  • Recipients need less medicine to prevent rejection; therefore, they have fewer medication side effects.
  • The recipient and donor both have the convenience of surgery scheduling.
  • One person who receives a kidney from a living donor means one fewer person waiting for a deceased donor kidney. This lets one more person move up the wait list.

The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years, according to Donate Life America. Living kidney donors can offer an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list.

Watch how Vanderbilt is using a microchip to build a first-ever artificial kidney to help meet the need for kidney transplants:


Organ & Blood Donation

Vanderbilt’s Kidney Transplant Program is one of the largest and oldest in the U.S. Click here to learn more about the program and find out how to become a donor.

2 thoughts on “The importance of living kidney donation”

  1. David Gillespie says:

    I have a cousin inlaw in texas who needs a kidney, I am 76 years old living in nashvile, are we canddates

    1. Maura Ammenheuser says:

      Hi, David. Thank you for that generous question. It’s possible that you are a match for your cousin-in-law, but you’d have to go through some testing to be sure. Your best place to start would be to have your cousin ask their doctor how potential donors should be checked and screened. We wish your family well.

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