Waiting Process

Deceased donor kidney

The waiting period can take several days, weeks, months or years. It is not something that one can predict. If you are from out-of-town, you will be asked to live within the Houston area once you are placed on the waiting list. The transplant coordinator must be able to locate you 24 hours a day, and you must be able to reach the hospital within three hours of the time that the donor kidney becomes available.  

Determining waitlist status

After a patient is evaluated and found to be a suitable transplant candidate, the patients’ medical information is sent to UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) for placement on the national kidney transplant waiting list. A patient can be listed as 1 of 2 statuses:

• Status 7

Your child will be listed on the deceased donor waitlist but will remain inactive and unable to receive a deceased donor kidney until all recommendations from the Renal Transplant Medical Review Board are complete and reviewed by a renal physician. Your child will continue to accrue waitlist points.

• Active

Your child will be listed on the deceased donor waitlist actively waiting for a kidney.

Changes in a patient’s UNOS status are made by the transplant service based on the patient’s clinical condition. If the patient’s medical condition changes, the UNOS status is reassessed and updated. Kidneys are allocated to children based on blood types, body size and then to the child with the longest wait time and the highest priority status. 

Living Donors

Living donors are often the best option for children who need a kidney. Learn more about the donation selection criteria and the donation process.