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Living Kidney Donation

Types of Living Donation

Directed Donation

  • Related: You’re biologically related to the recipient. The recipient could be your parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, or sister.
  • Unrelated: You’re not biologically related to the recipient. The recipient could be your friend, partner, spouse, or anyone you have a relationship with.

Non-Directed Donation or Anonymous Donation

  • You are interested in donating to someone in need, but do not have a specific person to give your kidney to. You don’t know who the recipient would be. Your identity is kept private.

What is a Kidney Paired Donation (KPD)?

When you direct your kidney to a specific person, tests are done to make sure the donor and recipient pair are a good match. Sometimes, the donor and recipient pair don’t match. The 2 most common reasons for not matching are either when the blood group or when the tissue type aren’t alike (compatible). This is called an incompatible pair. If you are willing to donate and you are not a match, there are other possibilities.

When this happens, the pair may want to think about a paired exchange, also called Kidney Paired Donation (KPD). This allows donations to happen with other pairs who are also incompatible.

These exchanges can be matched just between the 2 pairs (4 people) or between multiple pairs (many people). This can be done in your local living donor program or through a national registry.

Sometimes, anonymous donors are added, forming a chain of pairs.

If you have any questions about kidney paired donation, please call one of our living donor programs:

The image below shows how a Closed Chain type of paired exchange works:


©2018. ​Canadian Blood Services. Closed Chain. CC.BY.NC.SA 4.0​​​

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