The highly trained kidney transplant team at The GW Transplant Institute takes a multidisciplinary approach. Part of the team’s job is to interview and evaluate potential living donors.
The following people will be a part of your GW transplant team:
- Living donor coordinator
- Independent living donor advocate
- Social worker
- Transplant surgeon
- Nephrologist (kidney specialist)
- Financial coordinator
- Registered dietitian, if requested
- Donor Advocacy Committee
Living Donor Coordinator
This nurse will serve as your contact person throughout the evaluation and donation process. The coordinator will provide you with an overview of living donation and answer your questions. They will review the consent process with you, and together you will develop your evaluation schedule.
Independent Living Donor Advocate
Your advocate will make sure that you understand the consent process, and ensure your safety and privacy. Throughout the process, they are available to answer your questions or discuss concerns. Your advocate does not have contact or interaction with the transplant recipient at any time.
The social worker will determine your understanding of the process and ensure that you have a strong support system that backs your decision to become a living kidney donor. It is important for all involved to know that kidney donors receive no financial gain. You may not accept money or gifts for donating a kidney. As you can see, your transplant team makes sure you understand the information you are given throughout the process. We are not here to encourage you to make a particular decision. Our goal is to provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision that is right for you.
Your transplant surgeon will educate you about the procedure and its potential risks. While surgical complications in living kidney donation are rare, the team must ensure that you understand the risks and that you consent to proceed.
A nephrologist is a kidney specialist. Based on your medical evaluation, the nephrologist will determine if you are able to donate a kidney without risks to your own health.
The financial coordinator discusses insurance issues with you and your family. The recipient’s insurance often covers most of your donation-related expenses. However, there is important information for you to learn about insurance coverage during the follow-up period after donation.
If the transplant team determines that you are underweight or overweight, you may be asked to work with a dietitian to achieve a safe donation weight.
Donor Advocacy Committee
The Donor Advocacy Committee plays a critical role. This group consists of a multidisciplinary team that includes an attorney, bioethicist, nephrologist, a living donor and several other physicians and clinicians who provide a final decision on your candidacy as a living donor. The committee meets to provide an objective decision on your candidacy and to ensure that you are not feeling pressure from anyone to donate your kidney.