About living donors

  • Who can be a donor?

    Each kidney transplantation operation involves two – a donor (a person donating the kidney) and a recipient (a person receiving the kidney). When living donor transplantation takes place, a relative of a patient can be a kidney donor; as well transplantation can be performed by using living unrelated donor organ.

    Donor need to be capacitated person more than 18 years of age. Living related donors usually are patient parents, siblings, grandparents, even children. Living related donors may also be affected person’s distant relatives - cousins, uncles, aunts, etc. Living unrelated or emotionally related donor may be the patient's husband or wife, partner or friend.

    So-called “indirect” kidney transplantation is introduced and successfully carried out in several countries - rather than the donation for an individual patient (a near relative or friend) an individual doe’s altruistic donation to unknown person - one of the patients awaiting a kidney transplant. The only stimulus for the donor then is selfless desire to help other people; one has no right to decide which of the recipients will receive the organ.

  • Who can not become a kidney donor?

    A person can not become kidney donor if one has:

    • Diabetes mellitus,
    • A positive HIV test,
    • Hepatitis (the tick),
    • High blood pressure or takes medication for its normalization,
    • Kidney stone attack more than once,
    • Long-term use of pain relievers and any other anti-inflammatory drugs for joint pain,
    • Tumour,
    • Mental illness,
    • Obesity,
    • Kidney disease or diabetes frequent recurrence in family history.
  • What are the benefits of renal transplantation from a living donor?

    • Kidney transplantation dramatically improves quality of life of patients suffering from chronic renal failure and haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis is replacing their renal function.
    • A patient receiving a kidney from a living donor may be able to avoid being on dialysis for a long time and considerably shortens the time of placement on the waiting list in order to receive a graft – organ from a deceased person.
    • There is a time to plan the transplant. Kidney transplantation is even possible to perform before the beginning of any regular haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.
    • Living related donor may benefit with the best possible compatibility with the patient. The survival rates of such transplants are better.
    • Living donor kidneys almost always start functioning immediately for the timespan when the graft is without the circulation is much shorter.
    • It is known, that survival rates are significantly better for transplants from living donors than transplants from deceased donors.
    • The surgery can be scheduled at a mutually-agreed upon time. That saves the time of disablement either for donor, or recipient.
    • Important aspect of living donation is the emotional and  psychological benefit. The recipient and the donor can experience positive feelings, become closer to each other.
  • What are the disadvantages of kidney donation?

    • There is always a certain risk along with a surgery.
    • It takes time before surgery to undergo all the necessary tests and specialist consultations. Following the operation, the kidney donor has to stay in a hospital for some time (8-10 days) the full recovery period can last for 4 -6 weeks. During this time, the kidney donor will not be able to work in full and ability to perform daily physical activities will be lower.
  • What person the living donor should be?

    • The person has to be psychologically stable.
    • The person has to possess a selfless desire to reach out to one’s relative or friend by donating organ.
    • The person has to be medically and psychosocially fit for the kidney loss.
    • The person has to be completely informed about the risks and benefits of the surgery.
    • The person has to be completely informed about the advantages and disadvantages of the kidney recipient current dialysis method.
  • What are the financial aspects of living donor transplantation?

    • Kidney transplant operations in Latvia are entirely state financed. Legislation prohibits the reimbursement of kidney donation for transplantation.
    • Kidney donor may receive any needed medical service entire life free of charge – one is released from the patient’s fee.