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Living Kidney Donor Program

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100,000 people across the U.S. – and 150 people at Baystate Medical Center – are waiting for kidney transplants right now.

Our living donor kidney transplant program is helping to make kidney transplants available to those who need them. Each year, about half of our transplants come from living donors. By becoming a living kidney donor, you can give someone a second chance to live.

Types of Donors

Related Donors: Donors are blood relatives of the patient receiving the kidney. Relatives can include brothers, sisters, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, or other family members related by blood.

Non-related Donors: Donors are not related by blood. Non-related donors include spouses, in-laws, close friends, and neighbors or friends.

Non-directed Donors: Donors are not related or known by the recipient.

Paired Donors: Two kidney recipients who are incompatible with their donors exchange donors. This way, each recipient can receive a compatible kidney.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about becoming a living donor, please contact Baystate Medical Center’s transplant program at 413-794-2321.

Kidney Transplant Resources

United Network for Organ Sharing
Donate Life
New England Donation Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Statistical Scientific Registry for Transplantation Recipients
National Kidney Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a living donor kidney transplant?

During a living donor kidney transplant, surgeons take a healthy kidney from the body of living person. The healthy kidney is then placed into the body of a person (the recipient) who needs a kidney. Both the living donor and the recipient can then lead normal, active lives

How common are living donor kidney transplants?

Kidney transplants are the most common living donor transplants. At Baystate Medical Center, about half of our transplants come from living donors.

What are the advantages of being a living donor?

  1. The recipient does not need to wait for an organ on a transplant list, which can take 4 or more years.
  2. The recipient has a chance of getting a transplant before needing dialysis. Dialysis can take a toll on a person’s health, restrict their diet, and cause stress.
  3. Transplant from a living donor means that the kidney is immediately placed into the recipient’s body. This means the kidney goes without a blood supply for only a short time.
  4. The transplant can be scheduled when the recipient and donor are in the best physical and emotional health, which can lead to better outcomes.

What if I want to donate my kidney to someone I know, but I am not a good match?

Baystate Medical Center offers the “paired exchange” option, using the National Kidney Registry and the UNOS Kidney Paired Exchange Program. A paired exchange helps to find another living donor who is compatible.

What is the cost of kidney donation?

There is no cost for donating your kidney. However, the transplant program does not usually cover travel or other non-medical expenses.