A kidney donor must be at least 18 years old and in good mental and physical health, explains Transplant Living. Kidney donors cannot have high blood pressure, HIV, cancer, diabetes or other serious diseases.
An individual who wants to donate a kidney must have a battery of laboratory tests and imaging studies, reports the National Kidney Foundation. A potential donor usually has a renal arteriogram or a spiral CT to assess the anatomy of the kidneys. Kidney donors have thorough physical examinations to make sure they are healthy enough to go through the donation process. Some transplant programs also require potential donors to have psychological assessments before they can donate.
Once an individual qualifies as a kidney donor, a doctor orders blood tests to determine the donor's blood type, explains the National Kidney Foundation. A donor with type O blood can donate a kidney to a person with A, B, AB or O blood. Donors with type AB blood can only donate to people who also have type AB blood. Blood tests are ordered to assess organ function, screen for sexually transmitted diseases and determine if the donor's blood clots normally. Once a potential recipient is identified, a doctor orders tissue matching to determine if the donor kidney is a good match for the recipient.