Approximately one-third of all interested living kidney donors have an incompatible blood type with their intended recipient. Paired kidney transplantation allows incompatible living donor/recipient pairs to still donate and receive kidney transplants despite the original incompatibility.
In paired kidney donation, patients with a non-compatible donor enroll in a registry. A specialized computer program will search for a compatible match. Two incompatible donor/recipient pairs (A and B) must be identified. The donor of pair “A” must be identified to be compatible with the recipient of pair “B.” Additionally, the donor of pair “B” must be identified to be compatible with the recipient of pair “A.”
An example would be if a sister wanted to give her brother a kidney but differences in blood type made it impossible. In this program, such a patient/donor pair is matched with other pairs in the same situation. These pairs can "donate" kidneys so that both patients get transplanted and both donors give kidneys.
In order to enroll in this program, the recipient must be listed through UNOS and have an eligible, non-compatible donor. Ask your kidney transplant coordinator if you are a candidate for the paired kidney donor program.