For many children, the best transplant option is to find a living donor. Often, parents, family members or friends may be interested in donating a kidney. The kidney transplant team will review living donor options with you during evaluation for kidney transplant.
Giving the gift of life
Donating a kidney can be an incredible experience for a donor, but it’s not something to be considered lightly. The process of determining compatibility and evaluating potential donors is a multistep process.
First, a simple blood test helps determine compatibility with the intended recipient. Once compatibility is determined, the potential living donor may choose to proceed with the evaluation, which consists of a complete medical and psychological evaluation, various lab tests and exams.
Potential living donors will meet with the living donor team to discuss procedures, answer questions and ensure they understand the entire donation and informed consent process. The living donor team is a source of support for the potential donor and his or her family.
Texas Children’s Hospital partners with St. Luke’s Medical Center for the living donation process since all donors must be an adult. St. Luke’s is physically connected to Texas Children’s, offering a convenient location for transplantation.
Living Donor Selection Criteria
Potential kidney donors must meet the following criteria:
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must be willing to donate of his or her own free will and without monetary gain or mental coercion. The donor must also have full knowledge of the risks and complications that could occur during surgery.
- Blood type compatibility and a negative cross match must be verified between the donor and the recipient.
- Negative serum pregnancy at test at the time of the evaluation and transplant for women of childbearing age.
- Must be in good health free from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, active alcohol and or substance abuse issues or any other medical conditions that are deemed unsuitable.
- Must have a BMI less than or equal to 35.
Insurance pre-approval and the coordination of medical records from referring doctors and medical institutions can be a lengthy process. If you’re beginning the transplant process, contact us early in the decision-making process for help. We’ll work with you and your insurance provider to help you plan for the entire transplant process. We accept most major insurance providers and have dedicated staff to assist with financial arrangements.