In Focus:

Deceased-donor kidney transplant

A deceased-donor kidney transplant is when a kidney from someone who has recently died is removed with consent of the family or from a donor card and placed in a recipient whose kidneys have failed and no longer function properly and is in need of kidney transplantation.

 

The donated kidney is either stored on ice or connected to a machine that provides oxygen and nutrients until the kidney is transplanted into the recipient. The donor and recipient are often in the same geographic region as the transplant center to minimize the time the kidney is outside a human body.

 

Only one donated kidney is needed to sustain the body's needs. For this reason, a living person can donate a kidney, and living-donor kidney transplant is an alternative to deceased-donor kidney transplant.

Overall, about two-thirds of the nearly 18,000 kidney transplants performed each year in the U.S. are deceased-donor kidney transplants, and the remaining are living donor kidney transplants.

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