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There are several types of living kidney donors.


This group includes blood relatives like brothers, sisters, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, half-siblings, nieces and nephews.


This group includes spouses, in-laws, close friends and co-workers.

Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) Registry

Sometimes, people want to donate a kidney to somebody they know, but cannot do so. This can happen for many reasons, like if their blood group or tissue type is not compatible with the recipient. These people are called incompatible pairs. In a paired exchange, incompatible pairs are matched with other incompatible pairs. Then, there is a swap between two sets of kidney donors and recipients. Sometimes there is a domino effect with up to five incompatible pairs swapping kidneys. The more incompatible pairs that register in LDPE, the better the chances of finding compatible matches and helping people in need of a transplant.

The Ottawa Hospital participates in the national paired exchange registry.

Anonymous or non-directed donors

These are people who would like to donate a kidney but do not have recipient in need. The Ottawa Hospital accepts anonymous donors through the Living Donor Paired Exchange Registry. Anonymous donors often create a domino transplant, where multiple recipients may receive a kidney.

Example of a Domino Paired Exchange

  • Donor 1 would like to donate to Recipient 1 but cannot because their blood types are not compatible.
  • Donor 2 would like to donate to Recipient 2 but cannot because their tissue types are not compatible.
  • An Anonymous Donor can donate to Recipient 1 because their blood types are compatible.
  • Donor 1 can then donate to Recipient 2 because their blood and tissue types are compatible.
  • Donor 2 can then donate to Recipient 3 who on the waitlist with a compatible blood and tissue type.
  • The anonymous donor has helped three people to get the transplants they need that would have otherwise been impossible.

In 2008, The Ottawa Hospital was one of the first two hospitals in Canada to do a Domino Paired Exchange.


Last updated on: December 5th, 2016