How do I get listed for kidney transplantation?

  • After your evaluation at the transplant center and upon completion of all necessary tests, your center will obtain approval from your insurance company and then will approve you for listing and then list you for kidney transplantation.

  • You are advised to stay in touch with the transplant center regularly until they receive notification that they are listed.

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What does it mean that I am listed for kidney transplantation?

This means that you have been approved and listed by the transplant center and listed for kidney transplantation through the national listing system called UNET, which is operated by UNOS.

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Will the transplant center contact me once I am listed for kidney transplantation?

Yes. The transplant center will contact you through telephone or by mail once you are listed for transplantation.

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What is the meaning of being “active” and “inactive” on the kidney transplant waiting list?

  • “Active” means that you can be called in for transplantation at any time.

  • “Inactive” means that you are currently not eligible to be called in for a transplant, although you are still on the list and accumulating points. This may be due to a variety of reasons including current health issues (infections, heart disease, etc), insurance reasons (absence of coverage for transplantation), social reasons (lack of family support) or your preference for a short period due to personal reasons.

  • Regardless of whether you are “active” or “inactive” on the list, you will continue to accumulate points toward transplantation.

  • If you are removed from the list (for health reason or recovery from kidney function) you will no longer accumulate points.

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How can I change my status from inactive to active status for kidney transplantation?

You may be inactive because of health reasons, insurance reasons or pending test results. Communicate with your transplant center and ask them the reason for inactive status and how that can be changed to active status.

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How do I know my listing date for kidney transplantation?

Your listing date starts from the start of dialysis or date of listing, whichever was earlier. You may call the transplant center to obtain this date.

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Can I be listed at more than one center for transplantation?

  • It is preferable to get listed at centers in different regions as that will expand the area from which organs may be drawn for you, You may get listed at additional centers provided you have the resources to get back and forth to these additional centers for evaluation, follow-up while on the list and to reach the center if you are called in for transplantation.

  • You need to make sure that you will have adequate family, social and financial support and adequate insurance coverage to undergo a transplant and have your follow-up care performed at the centers where you are listed.

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How do you determine the quality of the kidney, and what is KDPI?

Kidney quality is measured by KDPI, which is derived from various donor characteristics (including age and health history of the donor). In general, the lower the KDPI number, the better the kidney quality; however, it is not until 85% that there appears to be a significant drop off in kidney quality.

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Should I get listed for KDPI < 85 % or > 85% or both?

  • Patients should discuss this with their transplant center and with their transplant doctors.

  • All patients should be listed for organs with KDPI < 85%. Select patients, such as those who are older or those who are having significant difficulty with dialysis should be considered for listing for organs with KDPI > 85%.

  • In addition, patient who may be very difficult to match for a kidney (for example, those with high levels of antibodies in their blood or with blood group B) may not want to put any limitations on potential kidney offers and may want to consider listing for organs with KDPI > 85%.

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Should I consider listing for high-risk donors (PHS increased risk)?

  • PHS increased risk donors are those donors deemed high risk for infections based on their risk profile. These may be because they have used IV drugs, lived in prison or may have had multiple sex partners. Please see CDC website (optn.transplant.hrsa.gov) for details.

  • Patients should discuss this question with the transplant center.

  • Patients have the right to accept or deny any organ.

  • There is small but higher chance of infection with organisms such as HIV and hepatitis C with these donors. However, effective screening and treatments are now available for the management of many transmissible infections. In addition, the risk of developing infection is much lower than developing serious medical issue including death while waiting on dialysis.

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How do I move up on the waiting list?

  • You will start accumulating points either upon listing for transplantation or from when they started dialysis, whichever came first.

  • You will acquire 1 point for each year on the list for transplantation or each year on dialysis. You will also get additional points based on antibody level and matching between you and the donor.

  • You will move up on the list based on number of patients listed at your center with your blood group, number of patients transplanted at your center each year for your blood group and approximate wait time for transplantation at your center.

  • You should discuss this question with the transplant center.

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Transplant Interface
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Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Transplant Interface does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The site is intended for informational purposes only.

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