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Living Donation

Importance of Organ Donation

As the number of people on the national transplant waiting list continues to grow, so does the need for organ donors. At UPMC, we honor organ donors – both living and deceased – who have given the gift of life to help someone in need.

Living Donor Transplant

For patients in need of a liver or a kidney transplant, a living donor transplant is an option. Patients on the liver or kidney transplant waiting list can receive a transplant sooner by identifying a living donor. Potential living donors can be family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone else who wishes to help someone in need.

Living donors must be at least 18 years old and be physically and mentally healthy, with no history of illnesses involving any major organs, as this could complicate surgery. Potential donors will undergo and extensive evaluation to ensure that he or she is the best medical match for the person receiving the transplant.

Living donation is not for everyone. However, most living donors feel that their donation is one of the most positive events in their lives.

Deceased Donor Transplant

Deceased-donor organ donation is the process of donating an organ, or part of an organ, at the time of the donor’s death. If the donor is an adult, he or she may have agreed to be an organ donor before becoming ill. Parents or spouses can also agree to donate a relative's organs.

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a service under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, determines the availability of organs from deceased donors.

To learn more about deceased organ donation, please visit the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE).

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