Donate Life

Providing hope, renewing lives

Organ donors hold the key to the lives of as many as eight other people. Those who place their names on state donor registries convey their desire to save lives through donation.

Only rarely does a patient pass away in a manner that is conducive to organ donation. More than 94,000 people in the United States are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. That's why it's vitally important to indicate your wishes on donation.

Donor criteria

The University of Kansas Hospital Transplant Program uses two types of organ donors:

  • Deceased Donors
    These are people who have had a catastrophic brain injury and have been declared dead by specific neurological criteria.
  • Living Donors
    This is usually family or friends of a patient who are willing to donate one of their organs for transplant. The hospital currently only uses living donors for kidney transplantation.

Cost of organ donation

There is no charge for the actual organ, which is a gift from the donor and his or her family. There are charges, however, related to evaluation of the organ, medical management of the donor and surgery to recover the organ.

These costs make up the acquisition fee charged to the transplant hospital by the organ procurement organization. This fee is passed on to the insurance company of the transplant recipient.

Identification and referral of potential organ donors

When the hospital identifies a potential organ donor, we will notify the organ procurement organization in that area. If the patient is a suitable donor, the organs are offered to the sickest patients according to size, blood type and location.

Surgeon's decision

The transplant surgeon may refuse an organ that is a good match for the patient if the surgeon judges it to present a risk to the patient. Reasons to refuse an organ include:

  • Patient condition
    The recipient may be too ill to undergo the surgery or may be out of town.
  • Donor condition
    The donor may have had some medical condition or illness which may have damaged the organ.
  • Organ condition
    If the organ has been outside the donor's body for a long period of time, it may not work well. The organ may be damaged during the recovery surgery or during transportation to the transplant center. It may have fatty tissue or badly formed blood vessels.
  • Geographical factors
    It may not be possible for the organ to arrive at the transplant center within the desired amount of time.

Learn how to become a donor

For additional information on how to become an organ and tissue donor, please visit Donate Life America online or call: 804-782-4920.

Transplantation services

Learn more about Transplantation Services at The University of Kansas Hospital.