Highlighting the Exceptional Gift of Living Kidney Donation

NHS Forth Valley is backing a national campaign which aims to raise awareness of the life-saving impact of living kidney donation.

Living kidney donation plays a vital role in increasing donation and transplantation rates in Scotland, with a kidney from a living donor generally offering the best outcomes for patients in need of a transplant.

People can donate a kidney to a loved one in need or can donate altruistically to a stranger on the waiting list who is a match. A healthy person can live a completely normal life with one working kidney.

Since 1960 there have been 1905 kidney transplants from living donors in Scotland, with 95 taking place in 2023. However, over 400 people in Scotland are still waiting for a kidney transplant.

Living donation can not only lead to better outcomes for patients, but one donor can trigger a ‘chain’ of transplants for up to three people. This is co-ordinated through the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme (UKLKSS), which is managed by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

Julie Booth, NHS Forth Valley Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation, said: “By raising awareness of living kidney donation as an option, we hope that more patients with kidney failure can avoid or reduce the time they have to spend on dialysis and have a better quality of life.

“Living donation is an extraordinary gift, and I would encourage anyone interesting in finding out more about it to visit the livingdonation.scot website.”

Jen Lumsdaine, Lead Nurse, Living Donation Scotland said: “For those with kidney failure who are facing treatment choices, we know that talking about living donation with family and friends can be challenging. The more we can raise awareness of living kidney donation the easier it is to talk about it.

We also know that living kidney donation transforms lives – and we thank the donors and their support networks for this exceptional gift.”

To help individuals in need of a kidney transplant talk about living donation with their families, the Renal Education and Choices at Home (REACH) programme, also known as REACH Transplant, was established in Scotland. REACH Transplant aims to provide high quality, accessible information about living kidney donation to patients and their loved ones in a relaxed setting. There are now ten REACH Transplant Nurse Specialists in post across all nine renal units in Scotland.

For more information visit www.livingdonation.scot