Patient and Donor Evaluation
Our highly trained staff helps living donor candidates feel at ease, from the first consultation to the actual transplant to the outpatient follow-up visits at University Hospitals Transplant Institute.
Determining if Donor is a Match
Once a living donor candidate is referred to the Living Donor Kidney Transplant Program, an intake coordinator conducts a phone interview with the candidate to obtain demographic (address and phone), and medical information.
After this step is complete, the living donor candidate is scheduled to have a blood test to determine if they are a match to the recipient.
|Recipient’s Blood Type||Donor’s Blood Type|
|A||A or O|
|B||B or O|
|AB||A, B, AB or O|
When someone wants to donate their kidney to a friend or family member but is not a match, they have the option of enrolling in the paired kidney exchange program. This gives them the opportunity to match up with another recipient-donor pair for a “swap” – with each recipient getting a compatible kidney.
Once someone decides to be a living donor at UH and compatibility has been determined, a living donor evaluation can then begin. Living donor candidates will be scheduled for an education class. The education class is taught by a transplant nurse coordinator and reviews the following:
- Transplant team
- Informed consent
- Evaluation process
- Paired donation
- Follow-up care
Prior to living donation the living donor candidate undergoes a series of necessary medical screenings, which may include:
- Blood tests
- Current Age Appropriate Annual Screenings (will need to be up to date prior to donation)
- Diagnostic tests
- Kidney tests
- Urine tests
During the evaluation process, several experts in the UH Living Donation Kidney Transplant Program will meet with the living donor candidate. Those expert include:
- Transplant surgeons
- Transplant nephrologists
- Transplant nurse coordinator
- Social workers
- Donor advocate
- Transplant financial coordinator
- Other team members (dermatologists, etc.)
Independent Donor Advocates
As part of the living donor evaluation process, an independent donor advocate is assigned to the living donor candidate. At UH, a donor advocate is a member of our hospital’s ethics committee but is not employed by UH Transplant Institute. The donor advocate serves as a support person to the living donor candidate and makes sure they understand their rights. Near the end of the donor evaluation process, the living donor candidate will meet with the donor advocate one-on-one to ensure that the living donor candidate is not being pressured to donate, is capable of making an informed decision to donate, and is fully informed of the surgical risks associated with living donation. The advocate also makes sure that the donor understands that the donor evaluation process will not be discussed with the recipient.
Members of the transplant team at University Hospitals are very careful to observe the rules of confidentiality (privacy) as mandated by HIPAA regulations. Living donors can be assured that their confidentiality is maintained. It is also important to know that a living donor can back out of donation at any time, for any reason.