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Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ (or part of an organ) for transplantation to another person. The organ most commonly given by a living donor is the kidney. Parts of other organs including the lung, liver and pancreas are now being transplanted from living donors.
Organs you can donate while you are living include: part of the pancreas, a kidney, part of a lung, part of the intestine or part of the liver.
Single kidneys make up the majority of donations from living donors. People who are between 35 years old and 49 years old represent the biggest group of living donors. That is followed by donors, in the age group of 18 to 34, and those in the age group of 50 to 64.
Live donors should not have diabetes, high blood pressure, H.I.V., cancer, heart or kidney disease, or other infectious diseases.
Unfortunately, there are currently not enough organs donated by deceased donors to meet all of the needs of patients awaiting an organ transplant.
Therefore, over the last few years, transplant surgeons and other members of transplant teams throughout the country have developed new techniques and procedures to save more patients' lives through living donor transplants. It is now possible for a living person to donate a kidney, a portion or the liver, a portion of a lung and, in some rare instances, a portion of the pancreas.
More information on living donor transplants can be found on the web site of the New York Organ Donor Network (http://donatelifeny.org/organ/o_donationfacts_livingo.html).
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.