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Living Kidney Donor Program

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More than 100,000 people across the U.S. – and around 170 people at Baystate Medical Center – are waiting for kidney transplants right now.

The living kidney donor program at Baystate Medical Center is helping to make kidney transplants available to those who need them.

Our expert multidisciplinary team provides the highest quality of personalized care as we guide patients through their journey from evaluation to surgery and recovery.

Register to be a Living Kidney Donor

How to Donate a Kidney

Step 1: Start the process by completing our online referral form. You will need to provide information about your medical and social history to help us decide if you are a candidate for living donation. If you are unable to complete the form, please call our office at 413-794-2321 to begin the living donor process.

Step 2: Attend an education session and a comprehensive living donor evaluation appointment where you will meet with members of the multidisciplinary team including the surgeon, nephrologist (kidney doctor), nurse coordinator, independent living donor advocate, social worker, and financial coordinator. Laboratory testing and various medical testing will be completed as part of the evaluation.

Step 3: After the evaluation is complete, our team will review and determine if you are a candidate for living donation surgery. This comprehensive evaluation can take several months to complete. 

Types of Kidney Donations

Direct Donation: A living donor donates directly to a recipient at our center.

Non-Directed Donation: A living donor donates but does not have a specific intended recipient.

Paired Kidney Exchange: - A living donor and recipient are not compatible and enter into an exchange where incompatible recipients exchange donors.

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.

Living Donor Resources

National Kidney Foundation U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Tissue Donation and Transplant
Living Donors Online
United Network for Organ Sharing
American Transplant Foundation
American Society of Transplant – Live Donor Toolkit

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? Is financial assistance available?

Living donors are not billed for costs related to the evaluation, surgery or immediate recovery from living donor surgery.

For donors that are traveling long distance, missing work, or experiencing some other type of financial burden related being a living donor, there are financial assistance programs available.

These program may be able to assist with the cost of travel, lodging, and meals and in some instances can help to replace income lost during the donation process. More information on these resources will be provided during the evaluation process.