Kidney donors — whose blood types don't match the relatives or friends who need kidney transplants — have another option to help.
A program of the Kidney Transplant Service at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and UCSF Medical Center allows you to donate a kidney to a stranger, who has a blood type compatible with yours and who is at the top of the kidney waiting list for a "deceased donor" or cadaver, kidney. In exchange, your relative or friend moves up on the waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor.
The program, called the Live Donor to Deceased Donor Waiting List Exchange Program, is a way to benefit a loved one, even if you don't match your loved one's blood or tissue type.
This is a way to potentially reduce the wait time for a deceased-donor kidney, which in the Bay Area ranges from three to six years and is primarily dependent upon blood type.
Once you make a kidney donation, your relative or friend will move to a position on the waiting list equivalent to that of the patient who received your donated kidney. The relative or friend would have the right of first refusal for any offered deceased donor kidney after reaching the top of the list.
If you're interested in more information or want to participate, you and your loved one should talk with a transplant doctor or coordinator. If you decide to proceed, your diagnostic evaluation and the evaluation of your loved one will begin.
The kidney recipient must pass all screening tests and be ready for the transplant. You also will undergo a series of tests to confirm that you can safely donate.
Once you and the recipient complete the evaluations, your kidney will be offered to a patient on the deceased donor waiting list and the transplant performed.
After the surgery, your loved one will move to a higher position on the deceased-donor waiting list, a position equal to that of the patient who received your kidney.
For example, if your kidney went to the fourth patient on the deceased donor list, your loved one would move to the fourth spot on the list for his or her blood group and would receive kidney offers once at the top of the list.
Because there are so few deceased donor kidneys available each month, it may take some time until your loved one receives a transplant. The chart below shows the number of deceased donor kidneys of a given blood type that become available in a typical month:
|Blood Type||Per Month|
Because of the limited number of kidneys, your loved one may wait several months before a suitable kidney is available. If your loved one has a high level of antibodies, it may be more difficult to find a kidney.
Ask your transplant doctor about antibody levels, which is checked using a test called the panel reactive antibody (PRA). The chart below shows the chances of a compatible kidney being found based on the PRA.
|PRA Level||Donor Kidney|
|PRA < 10 percent||98 percent|
|PRA 10 - 19 percent||47 percent|
|PRA 20 - 29 percent||31 percent|
|PRA 30 - 39 percent||19 percent|
|PRA 40 - 49 percent||19 percent|
|PRA 50 - 59 percent||14 percent|
|PRA 60 - 69 percent||11 percent|
|PRA 70 - 79 percent||11 percent|
|PRA > 80 percent||5 percent|
If a patient has a PRA level that's greater or equal to 80 percent, only one kidney in 20 (or 5 percent) would be a match. Even if one has a high PRA, this program will help because being high on the waiting list will make it more likely a matched kidney will be found.
We will do everything possible to find a good deceased donor kidney for the recipient. Live donor kidneys, however, are generally better than most deceased donor kidneys.
Any donor and recipient , who have incompatible blood or antibodies, can participate in this program after discussing the program with a transplant doctor and signing the consent forms.
If the testing shows that either you or or the recipient is not a candidate for surgery, you will not be eligible to participate.
For more information, contact a transplant coordinator at (415) 353-1551.
|Donor Consent Form|
|Recipient Consent Form|
The consent forms linked to from this page are in Portable Document Format (PDF). These documents can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it for free from Adobe's Web site.