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What You Need to Know About Organ Transplants

What Are Your Organ Donor Options? continued...

But even if the blood types are not compatible, you may be able to find a program that allows proxy donors. This is when someone who doesn't match the intended donor can still donate the organ for someone else's use, and the intended donor goes to the top of the transplant list. 

Another possibility is called paired kidney exchange in which recipients who have donors that are not compatible can enter programs where they are able to "swap" donors.

Those who need a transplant often ask if they can buy an organ. The answer is simple: No. In the United States, it is a felony to buy an organ.

Though other countries allow the sale of organs, a doctor practicing in the U.S. would not place that organ, Spicer says.

Gathering Information on Organ Transplants

Depending on the organ being transplanted, you can get other help from a variety of organizations. UNOS has on its site an exhaustive list, from national organizations such as the American Heart Association, America Kidney Foundation and American Liver Foundation to state organizations such as the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

There's a wide array of information on organ transplants available to you. You can be an integral part of your care by tapping into these resources.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Thomas M. Maddox, MD on July 12, 2012

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