Quick links: Health Resources>
Sign up to register your support
Tell us why you feel the Australian Government's Leave for Living Organ Donors Support Scheme should continue. Find out more here?
Do you need more information about the
Australian Government's Leave for Living Organ Donors Support Scheme?
This scheme will be administered by the Australian Government as part of a two year pilot, commencing July 2013 and will initially be reviewed in 2014/15.
To register for further information from the Australian Government about this new scheme, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Leave for Living Organ Donors.
Kidney Health Australia relevant Fact Sheets
Deciding to be a live kidney donor
Live Kidney Donation
Non-directed live kidney donation
Organ and tissue donation & transplantation
INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS AND WILLING DONORS
Live kidney donation is a gift - a gift by choice and not by chance
A gift of a a normal functioning kidney from one living human to another.
Who can become a live donor?
Most living organ donors are relatives of a person receiving the transplant (e.g. parent, brother or sister). Recent advances in medicine have made it possible for people not related, to donate to the person who needs a transplant (e.g. spouse, partner or friend).
Living donation by a relative or friend is called a live directed donation. If you are thinking of making a living kidney donation discuss this with your GP to find out how this may affect your individual health.
Living donation can also be non-directed
Donations of bone marrow by volunteers are a common form of this type of donation. Non-directed kidney donation is a new practice worldwide. It is still rare in Australia and is only possible at some Australian hospitals.
In these cases, a person decides to donate a kidney to help whoever is on the waiting list. The donor has no say in who will or will not receive the kidney. Care is taken to protect the privacy of this type of donor.
Can I donate my kidney to a stranger?
Non-directed live donation means being a live kidney donor to a complete stranger. Someone donates a kidney and allows it to be transplanted to the most suitable recipient on the waiting list. This is a very serious decision - you may need to talk about it with your family, friends, GP, renal transplant nurse, social worker or counsellor. Policies and guidelines are currently being developed in some states of Australia.
Can I buy or sell a kidney? No - Trade in human organs and tissue is illegal in Australia
This practice is also considered ethically unacceptable. Anyone involved would face criminal charges. The illegal buying of organs overseas raises the risks of recipients contacting blood born diseases, complications, or even death.
What do I need to know about Live Kidney Donation?
If thinking of making a live kidney donation, you may find these videos helpful to make an informed decision.
Kidney Ed TV on YouTube
Reviewed playlists on kidney transplantation, organ donation etc. Watch Living Kidney Donation: What you need to know - one of an education playlist selection on our KidneyHealthAus YouTube profile.
View links to other videos in this range or click links below:
Part 1 - Living Kidney Donation: What you need to know
Part 2 - Living Kidney Donation: What you need to know
Jenny's story on her experience with Live Kidney Donation
Permission to host this video has been provided by Queensland Health
WHAT IS THE AUSTRALIAN PAIRED KIDNEY EXCHANGE PROGRAM?
The Australian Paired Kidney eXchange Program (AKX) is an initiative of the Organ and Tissue Authority to increase the options for living kidney donation.
This program offers a transplant option for patients with an incompatible living donors
The AKX Program helps patients seeking a kidney transplant, whose potential living donor is unsuitable for them due to blood group and/or tissue incompatibility. This option is known as paired kidney exchange or, paired kidney donation.
The AKX Program uses a computer program to search the entire available database of registered recipient/donor pairs to look for combinations where the donor in an incompatible pair can be matched to a recipient in another pair. If the computer finds a compatible match, two or more simultaneous transplants can occur by exchanging donors.
21 August 2013: In a South Australian first, an Adelaide woman has received a life saving kidney from a complete stranger, in exchange for one of her husband's kidneys, which went to a person in Perth.
Saving Josh - Josh's life changing experience with the Australian Paired eXchange Program
Archived story on Channel 9 - Current Affair: 9 year old Josh McDonald, one of many Kidney Kids waiting for a transplant, broke hearts in the past with his tearful plea to become a normal little boy. Josh desperately needed a kidney and thanks to the AKX Program Josh has a new shot at life.
How can I join the AKX Program?
To register you should contact your kidney specialist. You and your donor will be asked to:
Can Donors and Recipients meet?
Sharing information and meeting your donor or recipient can cause problems even if there are good medical results. Therefore the AKX Program protects the anonymity of donor and recipient pairs. Strict privacy and confidentiality is therefore maintained for each donor/recipient pair. It is not possible for staff involved in the Program to facilitate meeting of donors and recipients after the transplants.
What costs are involved?
There is no cost to you for participating in the Program, although you may need to consider sick leave if you are employed as you will need to take time off work. This should be discussed with your transplant centre. No payments can be charged, or paid to you, for donating a kidney or participating in the Program.
Have questions regarding paired kidney donation and the AKX Program?
Refer information for patients and willing living donors
Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program - Department of Nephrology - Fremantle Hospital, or contact AKX Program Coordinator on 08 9431 3690 - Claudia.Woodroffe@health.wa.gov.au
Live Kidney Donor - WA Travel Reimbursement Scheme
West Australian Country Health Service (WACHS) via its Patient Assisted Travel Scheme, will reimburse reasonable travel expenses incurred by suitable donors travel, to assist WA permanent residents to participate in their live kidney donation program.
Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry - global network of donor registries of unrelated donors between 18 and 40, in good health and prepared to donate bone marrow.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service - call 131 495 to make an appointment or to donate always needed blood.
Donate Life - Resources and Donate Life - Tissue and eye banks in Australia
Making a Decision about Living Organ and Tissue Donation developed by NHMRC
From "Living Organ and Tissue Donation: Guidelines for Ethical Practice for Health Professionals"
Renal Resource Centre NSW offer a range of brochures, publications and 'kidney' education material
* Introduction to Kidney Transplantation * From me to you - So your relative needs a kidney?
Could I be a Living Donor from Transplant UK
Perioperative Mortality and Long-term Survival Following Live Kidney Donation
JAMA.2010;303(10):959-966 - Dorry L Segev MD PhD; Abimereki D Muzaale MD MPH; Brian S Caffo PhD; Shruti H Mehta PhD; Andrew L Singer MD PhD; Sarah E Taranto; Maureen A McBride, PhD; Robert A. Montgomery, MD, DPhil
DonateLife™ Australian Government Initiative
- DISCOVER the facts about organ and tissue donation
- Make an informed choice and DECIDE about becoming a donor
- DISCUSS your decision with family and friends
Updated 21 October 2013
Disclaimer: This information is intended as a general introduction to this topic and is not meant to substitute your doctor's or health professional's advice. All care is taken to ensure information is relevant and applicable to each Australian state. It should be noted Kidney Health Australia recognises each person's experience is individual and variations do occur in treatment and management due to personal circumstances. Should you require further info always consult your doctor or health professional.