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Update Kidney Paired Donation Policy

eye iconAt a glance


Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) is a process that matches one medically incompatible living donor-candidate pair with another, so the donor in each pair is medically compatible with the candidate in the other pair. By exchanging living donors, each candidate can receive a compatible transplant. The OPTN’s Kidney Paired Donation Pilot Program (KPDPP) is a national KPD program that is governed by OPTN Policy 13: Kidney Paired Donation. Some of the requirement in OPTN Policy 13 apply to all KPD programs, not just the OPTN KPDPP program.

The OPTN Kidney Transplantation Committee proposes a series of minor changes to OPTN KPD policy to make it more clear and improve efficiency of the OPTN KPDPP program. It also includes proposed changes to informed consent that would apply to all KPD programs.

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Proposed changes

  • Shorten organ offer evaluation deadlines
  • Establish organ recovery and transplant deadlines
  • Adjust policies to prevent administrative issues from stopping KPD exchanges
  • Update informed consent policies for all KPD programs to provide clarity, emphasize donor autonomy, and align requirements with those in OPTN Living Donor policy

Anticipated impact

  • What it's expected to do
    • Improve efficiency of the KPDPP program
    • Improve fairness for patients by limiting administrative lapses in the KPDPP program
    • Improve clarity around living donation process and informed consent for participants in all KPD programs

Terms to know

  • Kidney Paired Donation: Kidney paired donation (KPD) is a transplant option for candidates who have a living donor who is medically able, but cannot donate a kidney to their intended candidate because they are incompatible (i.e. poorly matched). The two recipients trade donors so that each recipient can receive a kidney with a compatible blood type 
  • Non-directed donor: Non-directed donors are living donors who are not related to or known by the recipient, but make their donation purely out of selfless motives. This type of donation is also referred to as anonymous, altruistic, altruistic stranger, and stranger-to-stranger living donation.
  • Bridge Donor: A KPD donor at the end of a KPD chain who will be in future match runs.

Click here to search the OPTN glossary

Provide feedback

eye iconComments

Rebecca Baranoff | 08/07/2022

Yes, the policy should specify that transplant programs obtain a signature from bridge donors confirming informed consent and the estimated period of willingness to be a bridge donor. The transplant program should also continue to provide the bridge donor with a timeline for their surgery and maintain ongoing communication with the donor if there is a long delay.

Kidney Donor Conversations | 08/04/2022

Support policies that decrease wait time, and improve communication & transparency for KPD and living donors.