The majority of kidneys that are transplanted come from deceased organ donors. Deceased organ donors are people who have become critically ill and will not live as a result of their illness or injuries. Donors can come from any part of the United States. This type of transplant is called a deceased donor transplant.
A person receiving a transplant usually receives only one kidney, but, in rare situations, he/she may receive two from a deceased donor. Family members or individuals who are unrelated but make a good match may also be able to donate one of their kidneys. This type of transplant is called a living transplant. Individuals who donate a kidney can live healthy lives with the kidney that remains.