Welcome to Living Donor 101

graphic of most used words on page [Note as of 10/26/2021 – See Living Donors Are People Too post from this date]

Because LD101 strives to be the most comprehensive place on the web for all things living donation related, this site is very text heavy and reference saturated.

Our goal is not to promote living organ donatinon, but to provide the information and support necessary for an individual to make an educated decision about living donation  – whether as a potential donor, would-be recipient, or living donor loved one.

…. AND….

We are dedicated to the support and care of current living donors, especially those who have been harmed as a result of donating. In addition to information about symptoms and complications, LD101 offers suggestions for obtaining needed treatment and/or redress for inadquate care.

Below is what we like to call the Living Donation 101: Cliff Notes version.

  • The U.S. transplant waitlist is inflated by one-third due to “inactive” candidates. The average age of end-stage renal disease onset is 64.4 years old (per USRDS). 44% of kidney failure is caused by diabetes and another 26% is due to hypertension. 
  • According to OPTN, 4.4 living kidney donors die every year in the US within 12 months of donating.
  • 20% of living kidney donors experience complications. Some require surgical internvention and/or lifelong maintainence.
  • 40% of living liver donors experience complications. This number that is not expected to decrease any time in the foreseeable future.
  • Living kidney donors also experience 37 cardiovascular changes within one-year of donating, which are associated with heart disease. In fact, a 10% reduction in kidney function significantly increases one’s risk of CV disease and death. LKDs lose 20-45% of theirs (some more, if the remaining kidney doesn’t adapt).
  • The US had no national standards of living donor care until 2013. Even now, the policy is so vague that if a potential kidney donor is rejected during evaluation, the transplant center *must* tell the individual that s/he can be evaluated at another hospital with “different selection criteria”.
  • We have NO comprehensive data on living donor health and well-being. The Secretary of health mandated one year of follow-up on all living donors in 2000, but the centers have been so noncompliant that a 2009 report said the database was “woefully incomplete” and “useless” for research or analysis. In 2013, OPTN admitted that 35% of LKDs were reported “lost” to follow-up with no indication contact was attempted.

Note: the numbers in parentheses that you’ll see throughout this site are references to source material. They can be found on the far right of the menu under ‘Misc’ and References.

Want to help?
We have some merch designs, if you’re into that kind of thing: Living Donor 101 and Living Donor 101 Designs. The royalties from every sale help pay for the url and server costs for the site.

This site has always complied with HON. Due to a changing financial landscape, HON began charging for their services in 2015. Since LD101 has no steady revenue stream, we could not continue to participate.

Last Updated: October 28, 2015
ETA 11/17/2020: Removed link to info regarding nonprofit Board and added link to merchandise, whose tiny revenue helps pay for server space and url.