People Considering Becoming a Living Donor
Living organ donation is an act of altruism that reduces the wait time for patients in need of a life-saving kidney or liver.
Living Donor Kidney Program
There are many reasons why a transplant from a living donor may be the best option for a patient. Transplant outcomes are generally better with kidneys from living donors than for kidneys from deceased donors. With careful planning, a patient can avoid the need for dialysis and go straight to transplant from a living donor.
Living donors are often related to the recipient, but they don't have to be. Living donors can be siblings, parents, children, or relatives. A donor can also be a friend, relative through marriage, co-worker or a member of the recipient's community.
Adults in BC, may choose to donate a kidney to someone they know, on behalf of someone they know, or can donate anonymously.
All living donation is managed through Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and St. Paul's Hospital (SPH) Pre-Assessment Transplant Clinics. The process includes:
If you are considering becoming a kidney donor, you can begin the process by calling Pre-Transplant Services at Vancouver General Hospital or St. Paul’s Hospital. You will be asked to complete a medical and social history questionnaire. If there are no immediate concerns, a blood test will be arranged to check for compatibility between you and the recipient.
Contact either program directly at:
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program - Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604.875.5182 or 1.855.875.5182
St. Paul’s Hospital Living Donor Program - Kidney
Unit 6A, 6th Floor, Providence Building
1081 Burrard St.
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
604.806.9027 or 1.877.922.9822
You will need to do several tests to ensure it is safe for you to donate. Some tests may be done through your family doctor, and most can be done close to your home or workplace, even if you live outside of the province.
If all your test results are normal and you decide you want to proceed, the next step is to meet the transplant team in Vancouver. This is usually a two-day visit, so that you can meet with various members of the transplant team and complete any required testing. Once the evaluations and tests are done, the transplant team will determine if you are a suitable donor.
Choosing a surgical date usually requires discussions between the various members of the transplant team. As the surgical date approaches, you may be asked to repeat certain blood tests. Following surgery and throughout your life, you will require routine monitoring to make sure you stay healthy living with one kidney.
For more detailed information, see The Living Donor Kidney Transplant Process: A step by step guide for living kidney donors
Other Living Kidney Donor Resources:Living Kidney Donor Testimonials