Experts Determine Candidates for a Kidney Transplant
The multidisciplinary team at University Hospitals Transplant Institute decides if a patient should be a candidate for a kidney transplant after a thorough review of test results, physical examination, medical and social history and doctor recommendations. All decisions about kidney transplant candidacy are made by the multidisciplinary team as a group. All decision made by the multidisciplinary team are discussed with the patient by the physician or transplant nurse coordinator. Once accepted for a kidney transplant, the patient is placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) kidney transplant waiting list. (An alternate option is for patients to choose a living donor kidney transplant with an organ donated by a family member, friend, coworker or acquaintance.)
Kidney Transplant Waiting List
There is no definitive time frame when it comes to being on a waiting list to receive a kidney transplant. The time a person may spend on the wait list for a kidney transplant is variable depending on many factors, but most patients can expect to be on the list for two to five years or more, depending on their blood type and other medical conditions.
While the patient is on the kidney transplant waiting list, doctors and the transplant team continue to follow-up regularly to ensure good medical care and quality of life. Waiting for an organ can be stressful, since there is no way to tell how long that wait will be. UH Transplant Institute offers support services for patients and their families that offer assistance during this waiting period.
Patients can be listed for a kidney transplant at two or more transplant centers at the same time. The patient must be evaluated at each center for approval for listing because each transplant center has their own selection criteria. Multiple listing can decrease your waiting time by increasing your potential organ offers. Since candidates at centers local to the donor hospital are usually considered ahead of those who are more distant, multiple listing may increase their chances of receiving a local organ offer. Patients should notify UH Transplant Institute if they are planning on listing at other transplant centers.
Receiving the Call
When the transplant surgeon identifies a suitable donor kidney for the patient, a transplant nurse coordinator calls the patient to notify them. The patient is then asked to come to University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center within a time frame to begin preparing for surgery.