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Paired Kidney Donation: Finding a Compatible Donor Through Paired Donation
Even though you may have a family member or friend to serve as a living donor, you still face the possibility that your donor is incompatible with you. For instance, you may have blood type A, while your donor is blood type B. Depending on your incompatibility, additional programs are available.
With paired-organ donation, your donor exchanges his or her kidney with the living donor from another incompatible donor/recipient pair to create two compatible pairs. While it's true that your donor will not directly donate his or her kidney to you, exchanging with another incompatible pair will allow for two compatible transplants.
These exchanges can also work for patients who have blood type-compatible donors, but are sensitized against their donor's tissue.
Multiple centers working together use computer algorithms to maximize the number of potential paired exchanges. And with centers outside of Stanford participating, this potentially increases the chance of finding you a compatible match. In situations where we find a donor in another location, either the donor must travel to Stanford or the donated kidney needs to be shipped here.