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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

What You Didn't Know About Living Organ Donation

Posted By: Advancing Care

Medically reviewed by Meelie DebRoy, MD

More than 100,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, with an average of 17 dying each day. Living donation offers an opportunity to significantly reduce wait times and improve outcomes for recipients.

Here are six little-known facts about living organ donation.

organ donation

  1. More organs than kidneys: Contrary to popular belief, living donation goes far beyond just kidneys. Healthy individuals can donate a lobe of their liver, a part of their pancreas or even part of a lung, depending on the recipient's need and medical compatibility.
  1. You can live a full life with one kidney (or a portion of other organs): The human body is remarkably resilient; people can live full, healthy lives with just one kidney or a partial liver.
  1. Compatibility matching is more flexible than you think: You don't need to have the exact same blood type as the person in need; with a simple test, doctors can decide if you're a compatible living donor.
  1. Support systems exist for donors and recipients: Comprehensive donor programs provide thorough medical evaluations, emotional counseling and support during recovery to ensure the safety and well-being of donors.

  2. Living donation is safer than ever: Advances in medical technology and surgical techniques have made living donation remarkably safe. The risk of complications for living donors is extremely low, with mortality rates of less than 0.07%, for example, for kidney donors.
  1. Tax benefits for living donors: Many states offer tax credits, reimbursements or other financial benefits to living donors to help offset the costs and time off work associated with the donation process.

Living kidney donors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are family, friends, or coworkers of transplant candidates, while others give the gift of life anonymously, sometimes even to someone they’ve never met.

Westchester Medical Center specializes in living kidney donation. If you are interested in becoming a living kidney donor, please contact us at 914.493.1990 and ask to speak with a Living Kidney Donor Coordinator.