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Living Donor Kidney Transplantation – The Exceptional Gift

A kidney from a living donor is often the best option for those awaiting a transplant, and optimally can be done before needing dialysis. 

The first living donor kidney transplant in the UK was performed in Edinburgh in 1960 and continues to be the best treatment for many people with kidney failure. Last year saw the highest number of living donor transplants ever in Scotland.

The Organ Donation Team at the Scottish Government have been working with clinicians and commissioners to ensure equity of access to information for both recipients and potential donors in Scotland about the benefits of living donation. A comprehensive information pack has been produced which includes a DVD and detailed booklets.  This pack is available online at website pages and offers clinical and personal accounts of the process, with a postcode finder to find a local unit.

Scotland also has one of the highest rates of altruistic donation (donating a kidney to a stranger). Regular media campaigns have ensured this amazing gift is kept in the public eye, prompting other altruistic donors to come forward. An altruistic donor undergoes the same rigorous assessment as a ‘directed’ donor, but can then start a chain of transplants for incompatible pairs, allowing three transplants to happen due to one altruistic donation – a truly exceptional gift. 

To request a hard copy of the Living Kidney Donation information pack please email

For further information visit