A 13 Year History of Non-Directed Kidney Donation to Predict Levels of Participation in Non-Directed Kidney Donation

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Intermountain Donor Services (IDS) is an organ procurement organization serving a population of 3.6 million people in Utah, southeastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and a portion of Nevada. Over a 13-year period, IDS was designated as the referral center for those interested in becoming an anonymous living kidney donor. Seventy-seven individuals successfully donated a kidney during this time. Key points in the process included: showing interest, completing a questionnaire, and interviewing with a clinical representative at IDS. Tracking these key points was utilized to help predict the time frame and resources needed for determining eligibility for non-directed kidney donation.


With the support of the three local transplant centers, IDS developed a program to initially screen all individuals interested in becoming a living donor. IDS received and responded to all inquiries about non-directed living donation and promoted the opportunity through its public education endeavors. After showing interest, candidates were asked to complete a questionnaire to determine eligibility. If criteria were met, a designated IDS coordinator conducted an in-person interview with all eligible candidates. Following the interview, potential donors were referred to local transplant centers by donor preference or through a rotation, if no preference was noted, to keep referrals equal between the local programs. Once deemed eligible, the responsibility of moving forward in the process always fell to the interested candidate.


During the 13-year period, IDS was contacted by 2,159 individuals expressing interest in living donation. From those inquiries, 1,465 questionnaires were sent out; 608 questionnaires were returned; 337 individuals were interviewed; 277 candidates were referred to transplant centers; and 77 individuals became living donors. Of the 77 donors, thirteen started a kidney chain.


With few resources, IDS provided eligible and highly-interested individuals to the transplant centers for non-directed kidney donation. An OPO based non-directed living donation program can promote trust between transplant programs, integrate living donation into education campaigns, and give a potential donor a more neutral environment for deciding to become a donor. The ratio of the number of individuals expressing interest, completing a questionnaire, and agreeing to an in-person interview can be utilized to predict the number of living kidney donors.

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