Looking for a living donor?

If you (or someone you know) needs a transplant:

  1. First, the potential transplant recipient must be evaluated for a transplant.
    • A hospital that does transplants (transplant center) needs to evaluate the person to make sure they're a good candidate for a transplant and that they'd benefit from having a transplant.
    • This must happen before any potential living donors can be considered.
    • The potential recipient can ask his or her doctor for a referral to a transplant center.
    • You can also can also find a list of all U.S. transplant centers at http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/members/search.asp
      • Under Step 1, select a Member Type: choose “Transplant Centers”
      • Under Step 2, choose the state of residence (or surrounding states)
      • Call and ask for the “Kidney Transplant Coordinator”, who will be a registered nurse who can help.
  2. Then, talk to your transplant center about all of your options—living and deceased donation, as well as dialysis treatment.
  3. Make sure that you’re on the waiting list for a transplant from a deceased donor. Your transplant center can help with this.
  4. Any family members or friends who are interested in donation can contact your hospital for information.
  5. Talk to others about the need for a donor. For example, some people tell their co–workers, community organizations, social groups, people who belong to their place of worship, or local newspapers or magazines that they need a transplant. While you might not be comfortable asking people to donate, it may be helpful to make people aware of the need for a donor. That way, if someone is interested in pursuing donation, they can ask for more information.
  6. Note that almost all living donors know their recipient—it is very rare for someone to donate to a stranger. The best way is to find someone who has a personal connection to you or your family.
  7. Read NKF’s booklet “Waiting for a Transplant” for more help.