Living Donation

Why is living donor kidney transplantation the best option?

A kidney transplant from a living donor can be planned to avoid or reduce the time someone is on dialysis and offer a better long term outcome for the recipient. A kidney from a living donor is an exceptional gift, and although Scotland has an opt out system of organ and tissue donation, living kidney donation continues to play a vital part in improving transplant numbers, so more lives can be saved and transformed.

Types of living kidney donation

Directed donation

Is when a person donates to someone they know, such as a family member or a friend. 

Paired/pooled donation

If the donor is not a suitable match for the person they wish to donate to, it is usually possible to join the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme for donor kidneys to be ‘exchanged’ with other pairs. In some circumstances it is beneficial for compatible pairs to also join the kidney sharing scheme.

Non-directed altruistic donation

Is when a person donates to someone they do not know. Nowadays all altruistic donors start a chain in the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme matching runs, unless there is a high priority recipient on the waiting list. 

Directed altruistic donation

Is when a person offers to donate to a specific person whom they don’t know (perhaps read their story on social media).

What’s involved

If you are considering donating a kidney to either a family member, friend or to a stranger, we understand that you will have a lot of questions.

  • The living kidney donation process

    Learn more about the process and hear from the specialist teams involved.

  • Contact your local unit

    If you’re thinking about donating, get in touch with the team at your local specialist unit.

  • Donor and recipient stories

    Your decision could one day give someone else a second chance of life. Learn more about the difference it can make.

Resources for professionals

If you’re a GP or a healthcare professional, learn more about the process and what this means for your patients.

The Exceptional Gift

It is important to discuss living donor kidney transplantation as the best option for those awaiting a transplant.