Living organ donation is an act of altruism that reduces the wait time for patients in need of a life-saving kidney or liver.
There are four living donation programs available to patients in BC:
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 organ 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.
For more information on the Live Donor Kidney Program, please see the following resources:
In BC, adults may choose to donate a kidney anonymously to a recipient in need. There is currently no program for anonymous living liver donations.
The paired kidney exchange program was introduced in 2006 to increase options for patients on the kidney transplant waitlist who have a living donor willing to donate, but whose blood type is not compatible with the recipient. Operated by Canadian Blood Services, the program runs four cycles a year to match individuals who want to donate with recipients across Canada.
In a live donor liver transplant, a portion of a liver is surgically removed from a live donor and transplanted into a recipient immediately after the recipient’s liver has been entirely removed. Live donor liver transplantation is possible because the liver, unlike other organs, has the ability to regenerate or grow. Both halves of the liver used for transplantation regenerate to the size of a normal liver within a period of 4-8 weeks.
All living donation is managed through the appropriate programs at Vancouver General Hospital’s (VGH) and St. Paul’s (SPH) Pre-Assessment Transplant Clinics. The referral process includes pre-screening, laboratory and diagnostic testing, and evaluation by the transplant teams.
If you have questions about becoming a living donor or about the process, please contact the programs directly.
The Living Organ Donation Expense Reimbursement Program (LODERP) is administered by the Kidney Foundation of Canada
, to reimburse donors for eligible expenses that they may incur during the donation process. Some of these reimbursable expenses include:
- Potential loss of income