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What to Expect Pre-Transplant

Transplant Referral

All potential transplant patients need a referral to receive a transplant evaluation at Mercy Medical Center.  Referrals can come from any one of the providers listed below:

  • Local Nephrologists and/or their office staff
  • Transplant Nephrologists
  • Social Worker
  • Dialysis unit staff
  • Patient

Information needed at the time of the referral include:

  • Patient Name
  • Name of person making the referral
  • Primary nephrologist’s name
  • Type of transplant desired (kidney and/or pancreas)
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security number
  • Address
  • Home telephone number and/or alternate telephone number
  • Height and weight
  • If the patient has started dialysis, what type of dialysis, dialysis unit name, dialysis schedule, and dialysis start date
  • If the patient has not started dialysis, what is the most recent Creatinine or GFR and whether the patient is scheduled for dialysis access placement
  • Is a primary transplant desired (receive a living kidney donor transplant prior to starting dialysis)?
  • Cause of the kidney failure
  • Primary and secondary health care insurance

Transplant Information Packet

Once a patient is referred to Mercy for kidney and/or pancreas transplant evaluation, an information packet will be sent to the patient.  The packet contains a transplant application to complete and return to Mercy Transplant Center.

Insurance Verification

A financial coordinator will verify the patient’s insurance will cover the kidney and/or pancreas transplant at Mercy Medical Center.  The financial coordinator will also help to evaluate each patient's medication coverage.

Transplant Education Class

Once the insurance coverage is verified, the patient will be contacted to schedule their transplant education class.  Each patient is encouraged to bring a family member or close friend that will be assisting them through the transplant process. The transplant education class provides in depth information on the transplant process from the time of referral through the post transplant follow up care. The information provided is vital to help each transplant candidate make an informed decision on whether they wish to pursue transplant as the treatment choice for their End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and provides a bridge to a successful transplant.

Transplant Screen

After the transplant education class you will be scheduled for a transplant screening appointment.  You will meet with the transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator, social worker, financial coordinator, and dietician who will complete a transplant assessment. These transplant assessments will help to determine what testing and consults are needed to ensure that transplant is an acceptable treatment option for you.

Transplant Evaluation

There will be a variety of laboratory (blood) and ancillary tests performed to help your transplant team determine how to assist you in achieving the best possible transplant outcome. Depending on your medical history, appointments may be made with specialists to obtain clearance for the transplant.

Transplant Approval

An interdisciplinary transplant committee will review all of your test results and consult reports from any specialists to ensure that transplantation is the right treatment option for you. Each of the members of the transplant committee are specialists in their field of expertise. 

Transplant Waiting List

When you are approved for a kidney and/or pancreas transplant at Mercy Medical Center, your name will be added to the transplant patient waiting list.  The United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) manages this computer database that matches potential transplant recipients with the organs recovered from donors. The potential transplant recipients are listed in order of priority based on a certain set of criteria. Through this process, a new list is generated each time an organ becomes available that best matches a potential recipient to a donated organ.

Organ Distribution

Rules have been established to determine how potential recipients are ranked on the waiting list.  These rules, or allocation policies, were developed to ensure that every patient on the waiting list has a fair and equal chance at receiving the best organ, at the best time for a particular patient’s condition.  The criteria used to determine allocation vary depending on the organ, but may include medical urgency, tissue typing, time waiting, height and weight of the potential recipient, and the size of donated organ. Criteria that are not used in the computer matching system are gender, religion, celebrity, and financial status.

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