Learn more about living organ donation

Matching Donors to Recipients: Types of Living Donation

Living organ donation isn’t as rare as you think. In fact, 47 percent of all transplanted organs in the United States are from living donors.

But there is a great need for living liver donors. More than 15,000 Americans are on the waitlist for a liver transplant, but only 5,000 deceased donor livers are available.

Different types of living donation

3 Types of Living Organ Donation

There are three categories of living organ donation.

Directed donation

The donor specifically chooses who will receive the organ transplant.

Non-directed donation

The donor is neither related to nor known by the person in need. He or she makes the donation out of selfless reasons. The recipient is determined primarily by medical compatibility.

Paired donations (kidney only)

This involves at least two pairs of living kidney donors and transplant candidates who do not have matching blood types. The transplant candidates trade donors, so each recipient receives a kidney from a donor with a compatible blood type.