Organ donation has historically been a medical procedure that only used organs from the deceased. Now with new medical technology living people can donate parts or entire organs. According to the American Transplant Foundation, 17 people die everyday waiting for an organ transplant. Allowing living organ donors has opened up a world of possibilities for the countless patients on donation waitlists.
Living organ donation has increased dramatically in recent years. With advancements in technology and information about the process, more people have stepped up to become living donors to help their loved ones and even strangers. The idea of donating one of your organs can be a scary thought. But when you are armed with the right information regarding the risks and benefits of being a living organ donor you can make an informed decision.
Benefit: Better Genetic Matching
When living organ donation is done between family members there is a higher chance of getting a close genetic match. There are several factors that transplant physicians look at to determine if a donor is a good match for the recipient. Blood type, crossmatching, and HLA are a few of the physiologic factors looked at. According to UC Davis, “If a recipient has strong antibodies against a donor’s HLA, the risk of rejection is high and a donor would be declined for that recipient.”
There are six antigens that have been identified as an important part of transplant matching. We receive three antigens from each parent. You have a one in four chance of being a complete match with one of your siblings. However, you don’t necessarily need to have a complete match to make an organ transplant successful. Talk to your transplant physician to learn more about the specific types of matching needed.