Infographic: Paired Donation Chain

Linking many lives through organ donation.

Donation chains bring multiple donors and recipients together, making more organs available to more people.

Saving a life with every link.

A donation chain as part of kidney paired donation finds the best kidney for every patient. Being part of an organ chain through kidney paired donation is a great alternative to receiving a living donor kidney transplant from your directed living donor if the two of you are not a match. Transplant candidates in kidney paired donation can receive a more compatible transplant and also help other candidates receive a transplant.

  1. The chain starts with a non-directed living kidney donation to a compatible recipient. Compatibility is determined by factors like age, size, and blood and tissue type.
  2. To continue the chain, the initial recipient's intended donor – often a loved one or acquaintance whose kidney was not a good fit – donates to the next person in line who is compatible.
  3. Chains can continue as long as matches are found.
  4. The donor chain ultimately ends when a recipient receives a new kidney but does not have a donor participating in the chain.

The average Mayo Clinic chain leads to 3-7 transplants

Every donor gets to help their loved one and every recipient gets a compatible kidney.

Produced by Mayo Clinic. Sources:;