There are currently 101,189 people awaiting kidney transplants.
You may be referred to our program for evaluation by your nephrologist (kidney doctor). Find out how to initiate a referral by contacting our Kidney Transplant Program at 513-585-2493. Once your referral is received we will contact you to schedule and appointment for a transplant education class. Classes are held the first and third Tuesday of every month from 9-11. The class is free of charge. Click here to review the Recipient Education PPT that will be presented during this class.
Here are some of the steps in the pre-transplant referral process:
- The referring party is responsible for providing the Transplant Program with all applicable medical information according to the protocol provided at the time of referral.
- Your insurance will be notified of the referral and benefits will be checked prior to your initial evaluation appointment.
- Transplant coordinators and financial coordinators then work together to meet insurance company requirements to evaluate you for transplant.
- Packet of information for the recipient is mailed out, or you can download it here, when your appointment with your coordinator and the social worker are made. If you are interested in receiving a packet of information prior to coming into your appointment please feel free to contact our transplant department at 513-585-2493 or download the packet here. Please bring your completed packet when you attend the class.
- You will be asked to complete a psychosocial form to help the social worker address any concerns or questions you may have about transplant. Please complete this form and bring it with you to your transplant meeting.
- You will be scheduled for one initial outpatient evaluation with the transplant coordinator and social worker. This will accur following your attendance to an education class.
- The nurse coordinator will review with you all of the testing and work up needed. Specific to the recipient, to be approved for kidney transplant. The coordinator will proviode supplemental education to what is recieved in the class. Consents will be signed if you decide to proceed with the transplant evaluation process.
- The nurse coordinator will review with you all of the testing and work up needed for transplant. It is preferred that these tests be completed at The Christ Hospital Transplant Center, but depending on your geographic location or payer preference, they may be completed at a center closer to your home. The coordinator will also provide education on the transplant surgery, medications after transplant, and follow up after transplant.
- The Social worker will complete a psychosocial assessment. This evaluation will help determine if you have the psychological stability, motivation, and personal support to meet the challenges of transplantation.
- If the Social Worker and RN Transplant Coordinator feel you are an appropriate candidate, you will have 90 days to complete your work up. If either the Social Worker or the Transplant Nurse Coordinator have questions or concerns regarding your candidacy, a discussion will take place at the Transplant Team Forum to review and discuss candidacy prior to proceeding with work-up. This will be a team decision made for whether you can move forward with work-up or if your referral will be closed.
- Once all of your work up is complete, you will be brought back in to meet with a Surgeon. During this meeting you will learn more about the surgery and your candidacy. Once your meeting with the surgeon takes place, your Transplant Nurse Coordinator will present your work-up results to the Transplant Team for review and discussion. You may be asked to have some additional testing at this point based on initial work-up results and past medical history.
- If it is determined that you are an appropriate candidate for kidney transplant by our transplant team, and your insurance company approves your surgery, you will be listed for the transplant with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
- While you are listed on the waiting list we strongly encourage each recipient to designate a kidney champion. A kidney champion is someone that will speak out on the recipient's behalf. Someone that will help the recipient find living donors. If you have someone that would be interested in becoming a kidney champion please have them call the Donor Coordinator, at 513-585-1440 or 513-585-1427.
- Kidney Donor Champion Form
There are currently 101,189 awaiting kidney transplants. (as of 10/8/15) 1 (National Kidney Foundation)
Approximately 2,600 of those are in Ohio. Kidney donation can come via a deceased or a living donor; the wait times for patients who have a living donor are greatly reduced. "To spare an individual patient a long and uncertain wait, relatives, loved ones, friends, and even individuals who wish to remain anonymous may serve as living donors. In fact, nearly 5,000 transplants were made possible in 2014 by living donors." https://www.unos.org
You may also receive a kidney from a deceased donor. This is a much longer wait however, and can vary by each center. The Christ Hospital average wait time is 5-8 years. You can talk with your coordinator once you are listed about being put on other center's waiting lists, also known as multiple listing.
While you are on the UNOS waiting list, you will have annual reviews. The RN Transplant Waitlist Coordinator and Social Worker will be in contact with you once your wait time is getting close to a year, every year while you are waiting. There will be testing and bloodwork that will need to be updated every year to ensure you are still a transplant candidate. Some candidates may be required to be evaluated every 6 months based on their medical history. This will be reviewed with you by the RN Transplant Coordinator. You will be scheduled for a face-to-face visit with the RN Transplant Coordinator, Social Worker, and either a Transplant Nurse Practitioner and/or a Transplant Surgeon. This is to make sure that there have not been any major changes to your health or social/financial setting that would impact your candidacy. This also gives an opportunity for the RN Transplant Coordinator to provide education on any updates or changes that are taking place with the program or the national waitlist.
It is important to know that while you are on the UNOS wait list you will need to keep in constant contact with the transplant team. The coordinator and social worker will need to know if you are going out of town, are taking any new medications, or have any changes to your health status.
If you receive a kidney transplant from a living donor, the surgery is scheduled, and multiple tests and lab work are done leading up to the surgery. You and your donor will come in approximately 13 days before your surgery to meet with your nurse coordinator, social worker, anesthesiologist, pharmacist, and other transplant staff to ensure you are ready for the surgery.
If you are waiting for a deceased donor kidney you must be able to be reached by phone at all times. There is no way to know when an organ is going to become available. When a kidney becomes available you will be notified by the transplant coordinator and instructed on where to go. You will have multiple lab tests done prior to the surgery to ensure you are ready for transplant.
For living and deceased donor transplants the surgery will generally last four to six hours. You will then go to the Patient Acute Care Unit (PACU) followed by the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) for further monitoring. You will likely stay in the SICU for a day and then be transferred to 2 South, which is the Kidney transplant unit. There you will be followed by the transplant team.
Post Transplant Phase
Your hospital stay is usually between 4-7 days. During your inpatient stay you will be seen daily by transplant surgeons, nephrologists, your transplant coordinator, social worker, dietician, and transplant pharmacist.
Your nurse coordinator will arrange any follow up needed after you are discharged from the hospital and go over all of your discharge teaching. The social worker will work with your pharmacy to make sure all of your medications are filled and available for when you leave the hospital.
Once you are discharged you will continue to be followed on an outpatient basis. You will follow up with a transplant nephrologist in their office three times a week.
The frequency of your office visits will vary based on your nephrologist, and how your new kidney is functioning. During these appointments you will have lab work completed, and you will meet with a nephrologist. During these appointments it is important that you communicate with your nephrologist any changes you have experienced, or any problems related to medications you may be having.
You will not be able to drive yourself to these appointments for the initial 3 weeks following your surgery.