Can You Become a Kidney Donor?

Donating a kidney is a serious life decision. Our priority at Henry Ford is to protect your good health while minimizing risks as much as possible.

Our donor advocates and living organ donor coordinators will help you navigate the complex process of kidney donation.

Apply to Become a Kidney Donor

Requirements for kidney donation

To donate a kidney to someone you know, you should be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 70
  • A friend or family member of the recipient, such as a spouse, parent, sibling, child, nephew or niece
  • Approximately the same body size as the recipient
  • The same or compatible blood type as the recipient
  • In excellent medical and psychological health

Exclusions for kidney donation

You cannot donate a kidney if you have one of these conditions:

  • Certain infectious diseases, such as hepatitis or HIV
  • Cancer
  • Heart and lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • History of drug use
  • Active alcoholism
  • Certain mental health illnesses

Medical tests for kidney donation

You must complete a series of medical tests before you can donate a kidney. These tests include:

  • Physical examination, including review of past medical history
  • Mental health assessment
  • Blood and tissue typing
  • Blood screens for transmittable viruses, such as hepatitis and HIV
  • Urinalysis
  • MRI or CT scan of your kidneys
  • Chest X-rays
  • Heart tests, such as electrocardiogram (EKG)

Risks of kidney donation

Medical advancements have made kidney donation very safe for living donors. The risk of death is just 3 in 10,000.

Other risks of kidney donation include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excess protein in urine
  • Hernia
  • Wound infection
  • Pain at the incision
  • Bleeding that requires blood transfusions
Take the next step

Speak with a Transplant Institute specialist.

Schedule Appointment Online

If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
    • drenching sweats
    • new cough
    • shortness of breath
    • body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email

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