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Living Donation

Donor Evaluation Process

Our team will need to assess the donor's overall health.

The Kidney Donor Evaluation Process

Our living donor team relies on the following consultations and tests to assess your overall health.

The initial evaluation consultations consist of:

  • Living donor education.
  • Medical evaluation by a nephrologist.
  • Psychosocial evaluation.
  • Initial tests: Lab work (blood tests), X-ray and EKG.

The comprehensive testing consists of additional:

  • Cardiac studies.
  • Imaging studies.
  • As needed for some patients…standard health screenings, including colonoscopy, prostate screening, mammogram, Pap test and/or dental exam.

At your living donor evaluation appointment you might also meet with several other team members, including:

  • A social worker, who reviews your support system and insurance coverage.
  • A dietitian, who reviews your dietary habits and, if needed, helps you change them.
  • A financial analyst, who determines if you have any medically related financial challenges that need to be addressed.
  • A pharmacist, who reviews your allergy information and current medications.

Finally, you will meet with a living donor coordinator, who becomes your point of contact with our program. The coordinator reviews your test results and helps to arrange further tests if needed. Once all the tests are complete, our team works as a committee to determine if you are a good candidate to donate a kidney.

Once the evaluation is complete, the prospective donor’s chart will be reviewed by the physicians and multi-disciplinary team at the weekly selection committee meeting. The selection committee may approve the patient for donation, require additional information prior to making a decision, or determine that the patient is not a candidate for living donation.

Patient at doctor consultation

Individuals interested in considering living donation should plan to invest up to five days of evaluations and testing over several weeks before the planning of the donor surgery.

Paired Kidney Donation

When a living donor’s kidney is incompatible with the patient in need, the Paired Kidney Exchange Program can provide a solution. Our kidney transplant program participates in one such paired exchange program, called the National Kidney Registry.

Effectively a “kidney swap,” this program helps to make more kidney transplants possible by expanding the pool of potential living kidney donors. A successful kidney transplant relies in part on the donor and recipient having compatible blood types. The recipient also cannot have antibodies that would kill cells in the donated kidney, a problem that can be identified before surgery through crossmatch tests.

If you and a potential donor have incompatible blood types, or if the crossmatch tests are positive for likely organ rejection, the Paired Kidney Exchange Program helps to identify another donor/recipient pair with the same problem.

Doctor provides information to prospective patients

The donor in each pair then gives his kidney to the transplant recipient in the other pair.

For instance, a donor with type-B blood and recipient with type-A blood are paired with a donor with type-A blood and a recipient with type-B blood. The donor in the first pair gives a kidney to the recipient in the second pair, and vice versa.

Compatible pairs may also opt to enter into the paired exchange in order to optimize the number of transplants that can occur and can ask for more information if interested. This arrangement provides all of the benefits of living donation. Every participant in a paired exchange also gets a psychological benefit. The recipients can experience positive feelings knowing that their new kidneys came from caring strangers. The donors also gain the satisfaction of helping to improve the recipients’ health.

When a living donor’s kidney is incompatible with the patient in need, the Paired Kidney Exchange Program can provide a solution.

Contact Us

For more information about paired exhange kidney transplant, read the OPTN Kidney Paired Donation Pilot Program document by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

If you are interested in being evaluated as a potential living donor, please contact our living donor program by calling 302-623-3866 to get the process started.

ChristianaCare Newark Campus

Medical Arts Pavilion 2 (MAP 2), Suite 2224
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road,
Newark, DE 19713