About your donor


Why it’s important to know some medical information about your donor

Key points

  • You will need to know basic medical information about your donor
  • The health of your donor may influence the health of the kidney that is being donated to you, which may affect your health
  • Some donated kidneys are likely to work for longer than others
  • All donated kidneys carry some risk, though this is generally much lower than the risk of long-term dialysis

Some donors have healthier kidneys than others

There are many things that can affect how well a donated kidney will work after a transplant. The health of your donor and their kidney is one of them.

All donated organs carry some risk, but this will vary from donor to donor. In general, this risk is much lower than the risk of long-term dialysis.

It is important to know some information about your donor to find out things that could affect the health of your kidney transplant. 

Factors that can affect the health of your transplanted organ

  • Whether you are receiving a kidney from a living or deceased donor
  • The age of your donor
  • Whether your donor had any serious diseases or health issues

Learn more about the risks from the donated kidney

Gathering information from living donors

This is relatively straightforward as the team looking after your living donor can ask questions and carry out detailed tests to look for any signs of illness.

This means that the kidney transplant team can have greater confidence about the health and risks of the donated kidney.

Learn more about living kidney donation

Gathering information about deceased donors

This is not always straightforward and it can sometimes be difficult to gather health information about a deceased donor. This is because:

  • We cannot ask deceased donors about their previous health
  • Donors may not have told their loved ones or GP about their health issues
  • There may only be a short time available to carry out tests on the donor 

Answers to common questions

More information



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