Kidney paired donation offers living donor kidney transplants to recipients who are incompatible with their donor, or the pair has better match options with another pair in the program.

Paired exchange donation consists of two or more kidney donor/recipient pairs. The recipients trade donors so that each recipient can receive a kidney that best matches them. Once all donors and recipients have been matched, the kidney transplant surgeries can be scheduled.

Two Types of Paired Donation Programs

Paired Exchange Donation

In a paired exchange, a donor will donate their kidney to another recipient in exchange for a compatible kidney for their loved one. Often compatible pairs enter into a paired exchange to get a better match donor.

In figure 1 the first pair, a mother and her son, are incompatible. The second pair, a husband and his wife, are also incompatible. In this exchange, the mother donates to the wife of the second pair and the husband donates to the son in the first pair. (See figure 1.)

Non Directed Donation

With a non-directed donor (aka Good Samaritan Donor), the donor is giving to a stranger which initiates a chain of transplants. Chains are a way for a non-directed donor to help many patients get transplanted. Many non-directed donors choose to start chains because it is a way to help more than one person suffering from kidney failure. (See figure 2.)

The University of Utah Kidney Transplant Program has developed a paired donation program (in cooperation with location and national registries) allowing a recipient-donor pairs to exchange kidneys with other pairs.

If you are interested in being a paired donor, please contact our living donor coordinator at (801) 585-3202 regarding the paired donation program.

If you would like to know more information about the paired donation program, please visit UNOS Paired Donation