In the WRTC service area, all transplant centers who perform kidney transplants also evaluate the living donor potential of friends and family members of patients on the center waiting list. If medical suitability and willingness is determined, then the donation and transplant takes place at that center. Locally, Georgetown University Medical Center, Howard University Hospital, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Washington Hospital Center will facilitate living kidney donations. The Washington Regional Voluntary Living Donor Program will facilitate a kidney pair swap and an anonymous donation.
What can a living donor give besides a kidney?
- Liver: individuals can donate a segment of the liver, which has the ability to regenerate and regain full function
- Lung: although lung lobes do not regenerate, individuals can donate a lobe of one lung
- Intestine: although very rare, it is possible to donate a portion of your intestine
- Pancreas: individuals can also donate a portion of the pancreas; like the lung, the pancreas does not regenerate, but donors usually have no problems with reduced function
- Heart: a domino transplant makes some heart-lung recipients living heart donors; when a patient receives a heart-lung "bloc" from a deceased donor, his or her healthy heart may be given to an individual waiting for a heart transplant. Extremely rare, this procedure is used when physicians determine that the deceased donor lungs will function best if they are used in conjunction with the deceased donor heart.
You should call the center where the patient is listed to determine whether living donation occurs, and you should get more information on living donation standards for both centers and for living donors from the United Network for Organ Sharing.
WRTC volunteer and living donor