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The NEAD™ Chain – Altruistic Donation

The following is a reprinted, edited version of information compiled and created by the National Kidney Foundation.

A NEAD™ chain (Never Ending Altruistic Donor chain) begins with one non-directed (altruistic) potential donor. In this program, the non-directed donor gives to a person waiting for a transplant, and that recipient’s willing—but incompatible—donor gives to another person waiting, and so on.

Each living donor in this system gives to a stranger, and the chain of donors is kept going as long as possible.

In a NEAD™ chain, a non-directed potential donor is matched up with a recipient who has a willing, but incompatible donor. Then that recipient’s incompatible donor then gives to another incompatible pair, and so on.

For More Information

If you are interested in either the NEAD™ chain or the paired exchange program contact a transplant hospital. To locate a transplant hospital near you, visit the UNOS website at and select “Transplant Centers.”

There are also several Internet sites specifically designed to match patients with living kidney donors. To register as a patient (or donor), visit these registry sites:

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