In the case of direct donations, yes, only donors with certain blood types can make a direct donation.
But direct donation isn't the only way. Paired donations (where a Donor 1 gives to Recipient 2 and Donor 2 gives to Recipient 1), increase the availability of suitable donors to the intended recipient.
Kidney Transplant Chains ("KTCs") take that idea farther. In KTCs, a willing donor starts the chain by giving to Recipient 1. Donor 1 then donates to Recipient 2 and Donor 2 donates to Recipient 3, and so on.
So you don't need a donor with the same blood type. You just need a donor willing to donate their kidney so that you can receive a kidney, albeit from someone else in the KTC.
Here's the story:
1. A donor with any blood type can provide a kidney so that their intended beneficiary receives a kidney, just not necessarily the donor's kidney, but a kidney neverthless, just one from someone else who donates a kidney to benefit some other recipient or for anyone without specific direction. That's done via a KTC facilitated by one or more hospitals or by the National Kidney Registry ("NKR").
2. Specifying a particular blood type can eliminate significant portions of the donor population who might think that they can't help the intended recipient because their blood type is different. The fact is, though, that through KTCs persons with a different blood type can donate so that their intended beneficiary does receive a kidney transplant.
3. There are 8 blood types, with the following prevalences:
4. The chart below shows the percentage of the donor population who can donate to you directly, as well as the percentage of the donor population who cannot donate to you directly. And, even though some donors cannot donate to you directly, nevertheless, their donation of a kidney into a kidney transplant chain, can result in you getting a compatible kidney, just not your donor's kidney.