Kidney Donor: Who Can Be a Living Donor?

Guidelines and information about donating a kidney to help save a life

Eligibility for Becoming a Living Kidney Donor

If you have a loved one living with CKD, you may find yourself wondering what criteria need to be met to become a living donor for them. The experts at Satellite Healthcare are here to outline what it takes to be eligible to give your loved one the ultimate gift of a kidney donation.

What is a Living Donation?

A living donation happens when a living person gives an organ or a part of their organ to be transplanted into another person. Kidneys are the most commonly donated organ from living donors, although other organs and living tissues can also be donated.

When it comes to kidney donation, living donations have some distinct advantages over deceased donors' transplants. Some of these advantages include:

  • Living donations done between family members have a decreased risk of rejection.
  • Kidneys from a living donor typically function right away, rather than requiring dialysis.
  • Potential donors can be tested to see who is the most compatible donor.

Who Can Be a Kidney Donor?

Typically, people who choose to be a living donor are family members like a parent, child, or sibling of the person in need of the donation. However, living donors do not need to be related to the recipient. Friends, spouses, and even strangers can donate.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Kidney Donation?

In order to be a kidney donor, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be in good physical and psychological health.
  • Have healthy kidney function.
  • Be willing to commit to the pre-donation evaluation process, surgery and recovery.
  • Avoid recreational drugs and tobacco, and avoid alcohol for at least 6 weeks prior to surgery.

It is also important to keep in mind that there are certain medical conditions that can leave you ineligible to donate. These health conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Any form of cancer
  • Obesity
  • History of kidney stones
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
  • An acute infection
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure

Visit our blog for more information about chronic kidney disease and how to live your best life.