Pediatric Transplant Care

Your Child’s Kidney Transplant Evaluation

If your child has symptoms of kidney failure, the experienced team at University Health will conduct a kidney transplant evaluation. We will help you determine if a kidney transplant is the best treatment option for your child.

Prepare for the Evaluation

Bring the following information to your child’s evaluation:

  • Contact information for your child’s school
  • Contact information for potential living kidney donors, if any
  • Insurance and prescription plan cards to discuss your deductible and co-payment amounts
  • List of your child’s medications, as well as the medication bottles
  • Name and contact information for all your child’s doctors and dentist
  • New test results that our transplant team has not seen
  • Up-to-date immunization records

Your Child’s Evaluation Visit

Expect a complete two-day transplant evaluation that includes testing at University Health. You and your child will meet the pediatric transplant care team. The evaluation process might be tiring and confusing for you and your child. We encourage you to bring another adult to remember important information. You may also want to take notes.

During the Evaluation

First, you will meet pediatric transplant care specialists. Plan for a meeting that:

  • Confirms the kidney disease diagnosis and finds out how serious it is
  • Determines if your child would benefit from a kidney transplant
  • Explains kidney disease and the risks and benefits of a kidney transplant
  • Presents kidney transplant options such as living donation
  • Allows you to ask questions about transplant surgery, costs, support and medications

Kidney Transplant Evaluation Testing

A doctor will perform a physical exam and review your child’s medical and surgical history. Some or all of these tests may take place:
  • Bladder studies – Examine how well the bladder works
  • Blood tests – Check blood count and type, shows kidney and immune system function and helps the doctor diagnose diseases
  • Chest X-ray – Determines heart and lung health and looks for infections
  • Dental evaluation – Looks at the health of the teeth and gums
  • Echocardiogram – Uses ultrasound to shows how well the heart pumps
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) – Evaluates heart rate and rhythm for undetected heart damage
  • Nutrition assessment – Examines eating and exercise habits to help your child be as healthy as possible before and after kidney transplant
  • Panel reactive antibody (PRA) – Identifies antibodies that would cause kidney rejection
  • Social work assessment – Discusses your family/friend support system before and after the transplant and identifies needs
  • Tissue typing – Helps find a matching kidney

After the Evaluation

Our transplant selection team will consider the risks and benefits of a kidney transplant and decide whether your child is a good candidate. Your transplant coordinator will tell you the selection committee’s decision within 10 business days.

Kidney Transplant Selection

If we recommend transplantation, you will make the final decision about adding your child’s name to the waiting list.

A transplant is not always the right treatment option. Your child may be too healthy to need a new kidney. Or if your child has another medical condition, a transplant may be too risky. You can ask for another evaluation in the future if your child’s condition changes.

Where Do Donor Kidneys Come From?

Your child’s donor kidney can come from a:

  • Living donor – A healthy person who chooses to donate one of their kidneys
  • Deceased donor – Someone who planned to donate their organs at death
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