Transplant Center
Rhode Island Hospital

Who Qualifies as a Living Kidney Donor?

Traditionally, living donors have been immediate family members. Due to the success of living donation and the lack of kidney availability, the donor pool has been expanded to include the following:

  • Distant relatives such as aunts, uncles and cousins
  • Unrelated donors who have a strong emotional bond, such as spouses, friends and acquaintances
  • Altruistic kidney donors-strangers who wish to donate a kidney to someone on the Rhode Island Hospital patient waitlist

To qualify as a donor you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be in excellent physical and psychological health
  • Demonstrate a healthy motivation to donate a kidney
  • Be free of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer and chronic infection

A comprehensive evaluation will be completed to ensure that each donor is healthy enough to donate. While attempting to help all the patients waiting on our list for a kidney, we would only proceed with surgery if it were at a minimal risk to you.

Overall health and well being are of primary concern to the transplant team when evaluating kidney donors. Ultimately, it is the decision of the transplant team whether a potential donor is a suitable candidate.

Things a donor should consider