Organ Donation Saves Lives

The demand for organ and tissue donations has never been greater. Although the latest advances in transplant medicine have created more options for patients on the transplant wait list, approximately 18 people die every day waiting for a lifesaving donation.

How Mass General Helps

Through research, advocacy and education the Mass General Transplant Center is finding new ways to overcome organ shortages, improve transplantation outcomes, and offer transplant patients every opportunity to benefit from transplantation.

Innovative Research

The Transplant Center’s research discoveries continue to revolutionize transplant medicine around the globe. Some of our recent milestones include:

Our research focuses on finding new ways to:

  • Develop interventions for patients who are not candidates for whole organ transplant
  • Reduce or prevent organ rejection
  • Overcome organ incompatibility
  • Use a patient’s own cells to create tissues

Learn more about our research

Live Donation

Live donation allows patients to receive a transplant without waiting for an organ from a deceased donor. Mass General has one of the most active and experienced live donor liver transplant programs in the region.

Our kidney transplant program also matches patients with related, unrelated or ABO incompatible live donors.

Living Donor Kidney Transplant Programs

Patients who choose to undergo a kidney transplant may have identified a living donor who is willing to donate a kidney. Even in cases where the donor is incompatible with the recipient, our active living donor transplant program can match patients with compatible living donors through the UNOS Paired Kidney Exchange Program or the National Kidney Registry. We also have a successful desensitization program for patients with positive cross match to their living donors and a protocol for ABO-incompatible donor-recipient pairs. Learn more about programs for patients with incompatible living donors


Mass General is a founding member of the New England Organ Bank, a nonprofit organization that is the oldest independent organ procurement organization (OPO) in the country. It is the federally-designated OPO for all or part of the six New England states. Through its nine regional offices, NEOB serves twelve transplant centers with the combined capacity to perform all types of organ transplantation. NEOB allocates organs for transplant regionally and nationally through the United Network for Organ Sharing's (UNOS) national network and registry.

NEOB is also accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). The tissues that can be recovered after death are bone, tendons, heart valves, skin, corneas and blood vessels. The NEOB mission includes providing clinical support to the twelve transplant centers in New England related to organ and tissue recovery and allocation, support and information to donor families, education to hospitals, medical examiners and funeral directors and providing public education about organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Mass General works collaboratively with the New England Organ Bank to help carry out our mutual missions.

Education and Support for Organ Donors & Families

Organ and tissue donation is a sensitive and personal decision. Through an initiative called Take 5, Mass General nurses offer families support and information as they explore offering life to others through organ donation.


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