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Transplant Recipient Information

Kidney Paired Donation


Interesting Fact:

The first kidney paired donation was in partnership with Canadian Blood Services and NARP in June, 2009. The first paired donation in ALTRA was April, 2010.

What is kidney paired donation?

If you have a living donor, but that person’s kidney is not a match for you, you can still have a living kidney transplant. Your donor will be able to donate, but not directly to you. You will receive a donated kidney from a different donor.

Your transplant program can register you and your donor in the Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) Program. It’s a national program that matches living donors and recipients across the country. Canadian Blood Services operates this program and works together with kidney transplant centers across Canada.

Since 2009, there have been over 500 living donor kidney transplants in Canada through KPD. These transplants were not possible without this program. All programs have a goal of increasing living donor kidney transplants, and cutting the wait list for deceased donor transplants. KPD is a valuable option for many donor and recipient pairs who aren’t a match.

How does kidney paired donation work?

A secured computer program matches donors with other recipients who are registered with ​the KPD program in Canada. It means swapping your potential donor with a different donor who can donate directly to you from the chain. So you’ll get a kidney from somebody else’s donor, and your donor will donate a kidney to another recipient.

It can be a simple direct swap. Most of the time, it happens in a chain. So multiple donors and recipients will be able to donate and receive a kidney.

closed-chain-jpg© 2018. Canadian Blood Services. Closed Chain. CC.BY.NC.SA 4.0

The image above helps to explain:

  1. The red recipient and donor do not match, but the red donor matches with the blue recipient. So the red donor donates to the blue recipient.
  2. The blue pair do not match to each other, but the blue donor matches with the green recipient. The blue donor donates to the green recipient.
  3. The green recipient and donor pair do not match but the green donor matches with the black recipient. The green donor will donate directly to the black recipient.
  4. The black pair do not match but the black donor matches with the red recipient. The black donor will donate to the red recipient.

Transplant programs across Canada work together to make all these donations happen.

People who are not matched the first time still stay in the registry for future matches as long as they are healthy.

Ideally, the donor travels to where their paired recipient lives. The donor pays the travel costs, and may have to stay for 1 to 2 weeks as they recover from surgery. The Kidney Foundation of Canada has some financial help for donors. Donors are encouraged to contact the K​idney Foundation of Canada in their province to ask about these programs.

For more information, you can visit the Canadian Blood Services website.​​​​​​​​​

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