Organ and Tissue Authority

2020 living organ donation and transplantation

In 2020


living organ donors


living organ donors facilitated by individual transplant units


living organ donors through the ANZKX program

  • A living organ donor is someone who donates a kidney, or on rare occasions a partial liver, to another person. Receiving an organ from a living donor offers an alternative to waiting on the national transplant waiting list for an organ from a deceased donor.
  • Living kidney donation and transplantation is most often directly from a relative or close friend (directed donation), though for some patients who are eligible for a kidney transplant and have a living donor who is willing but unable to donate directly because of an incompatible blood or tissue type, it is facilitated through the Australian and New Zealand Paired Kidney Exchange (ANZKX) program.
  • Living kidney donation programs were disrupted in 2020 with the suspension of elective surgery in March due to the COVID-19. While gradual recommencement of living kidney transplantation occurred from May 2020, the complexities of the ANZKX program meant kidney exchange transplants in Australia did not recommence until September 2020. As well as ongoing logistical challenges due to border restrictions and reduced domestic flights, potential exchanges with New Zealand donors and recipients were further impacted by international travel restrictions.
  • There were 182 living donors in 2020 – 181 kidney donors and one partial liver donor. This result is 24% lower than the 2019 outcome of 239.
  • The 181 living kidney donors in 2020 included 29 through the Australian and New Zealand Paired Kidney Exchange (ANZKX) program compared with 50 in 2019.

Living donors

Living donation by jurisdiction

Living donation by jurisdiction

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