Emory's step-by-step guide to kidney donation

by Ana Ivey

alt

Reduced energy levels because of kidney failure greatly limit Mike Mahoney's time tinkering with his beloved classic cars.

Kidney transplants are one of the most common transplant operations in the United States.

Anyone 18 and up can donate a kidney, such as a family member, a spouse or a friend. Here’s a summary based on the Emory Transplant Center’s procedures in Atlanta.

Phase One of the donation process involves a 30-minute telephone interview that includes a medical screening. If the potential donor is deemed an appropriate candidate, he or she will continue to the next step.

Three blood tests are required in Phase Two. The first test determines if the potential donor’s blood type is compatible with that of the recipient. To determine if the recipient has any antibodies or sensitivities to the donor, a second blood test is performed.

A final blood test, HLA typing, is performed to see if the donor and recipient share any of the same genetic markers. If everything checks out, the donor is asked if he or she would like to proceed to Phase Three.

In Phase Three, the donor spends two days at the Emory Transplant Center undergoing medical and psychological evaluations, including a physical exam, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram and blood and urine tests. A computed tomography angiogram or magnetic resonance angiogram to examine the donor’s blood vessels is also performed. 

Additional tests must be current within one year, including a gynecological exam and Pap test, mammogram and a colonoscopy.

Lastly, Phase Four is the transplantation of the kidney. Since the fall of 1999, the Emory Transplant Center has used the laparoscopic technique. This technique offers the donor a potentially quicker recovery.

Dr. Ken Newell, professor of surgery and director of the living donor program at the Emory Transplant Center in Atlanta, said there are between 1,700-1,800 patients waiting for kidneys at Emory, but the number of transplants performed there last year was only 247.

“The real issue here is that there are many more people on the transplant list than there are donors,” said Dr. Newell. “There are many deserving people who don’t get transplants or don’t get them in a timely manner. So we have debates as to what is the fairest way to assign organs to people. If we had more organ donors, we would have more organs to allocate and improve the quality of life for many more people, but everybody has to do what’s right for them.”

So who pays for the donor’s medical expenses? More than likely, the recipient’s medical insurance or Medicare. According to Mike Mahoney, his insurance will even cover a donor’s missed days at work.

For more information regarding the Emory Kidney Transplant Center, call 404-727-3250, 866-727-3250, or visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/transplant-center.

For information on a national scale, visit the United Network for Organ Sharing at www.unos.org.




More Local

Second suspect in slaying charged with murder

Kerven Silvera Telsey Jr., 21, a suspect in a local homicide who was arrested almost two weeks ago in Florida, was booked into the Coweta Co ... Read More


UPDATE

Teen with cystic fibrosis dies

Coweta teen Cole Croteau battled cystic fibrosis every day of his life. In the past two years, the battle became tougher, Cole got sicker, a ... Read More


Pinewood exec lauds impact of filmmaking

When Pinewood Studios agreed to expand into the United States, no one had any idea the economic impact it would have. Addressing the Newnan- ... Read More


Middle school volleyball championship postponed

Coweta’s middle school volleyball championship game has been postponed for a week amid questions on Lee Middle School’s eligibil ... Read More


No suspects named in Newnan triple shooting

Newnan authorities are still investigating last week’s drive-by shooting that left two men and a woman injured, but the victims are im ... Read More

Man arrested after pursuit through Newnan

By Wes Mayer wesley@newnan.com A man received numerous charges after he led officers with the Newnan Police Department and Coweta County Sh ... Read More