Pediatric Living Donor Kidney Transplant

Kidneys are the most common organ donated by living donors. In a living donor kidney transplant, doctors take a kidney from a living person to replace your child’s unhealthy (diseased) kidney.

Living Donor Steps

Before anyone can be a living donor, he must have a series of tests to make sure he is the best match for your child.

Step 1
A person wishing to be a donor for your child’s kidney transplant calls the Children’s Kidney Transplant coordinator.

Step 2
The kidney transplant financial counselor asks your insurance company for approval for the donor evaluation. The recipient’s insurance may pay for this. If you do not have insurance, our financial counselors will work with you to set up a payment plan.

  • Medical coverage varies for living donation. Typically, the recipient’s insurance provider covers your medical expenses, including the costs of the pre-transplant evaluation, medical fees and hospitalization.
  • Talk to your employer’s human resources department regarding leave from work. Most donors use vacation and sick leave during their recovery period; however, some employers give special leave for kidney donation.
  • The social worker can provide information on the Georgia Transplant Foundation (GTF). GTF provides resources and financial support to living donors who qualify for their services.

Step 3
Your insurance company approves the donor evaluation. The Children’s Kidney Transplant coordinator sets up the donor evaluation at the Emory Transplant Center. A living donor must have the same blood type as your child.

  • Every person has one of four blood types: O, A, B or AB. Type O is the most common. Type B is the least common.
  • If a potential living donor doesn’t know their blood type, he can donate blood or call his local Red Cross and a blood type test can be done. If the potential donor has had surgery or a baby, the donor’s doctor may have a record of the blood type.

Step 4
If the donor’s blood type is a good match with your child’s, the pre-transplant evaluation can take place.

Step 5
The donor will have a two-day, outpatient evaluation at the Emory Transplant Center. The donor’s test results may take more than six weeks.

  • Based on the donor’s evaluation and tests results, the Children’s Kidney Transplant team decides if the donor is a good match.
  • If the donor is not a good match, the process will begin again with the insurance company (see Step 2).