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Living Kidney Donor Program: The Evaluation Process

Donating a kidney to someone with kidney failure is a life-saving and life-changing decision — and one that no one should take lightly. The living kidney donor team at Rush understands the physical and emotional sacrifices of donating a kidney to a person who needs a kidney transplant. They make living organ donor safety a top priority.

To ensure that it is safe to proceed with donation, anyone interested in becoming a living kidney donor undergoes a thorough physical and psychosocial evaluation. The length of time required for the evaluation depends on the number of tests you need to complete and how quickly you are able to complete them. The team will not allow you to donate a kidney if it will jeopardize your immediate or long-term health.

Fill out a living donor questionnaire to determine if you are elligible to be a living kidney donor.

Psychosocial consultations

  • Initial consultation with a transplant surgeon, nephrologist, nurse coordinator, dietitian and pharmacist
  • Discussions with an independent living donor advocate who can help you learn more about donating a kidney and the consent process
  • Social worker consultation to discuss the emotional and psychosocial aspect of kidney donation

Medical evaluations

  • Blood work to assess general health, along with blood and tissue type; screen for infectious diseases; and screen for clotting disorders
  • Urine test to evaluate kidney function
  • Diagnostic tests, including a chest X-ray and EKG
  • Imaging, including a CT scan of the kidneys
  • Pap test for all women
  • Mammogram for women age 40 and up
  • Colonoscopy for men and women age 50 and up
  • Consultations with other specialists, including psychiatrists, hematologists, cardiologists or endocrinologists based on your medical and family history
  • Additional tests, depending on your medical or family history

Not everyone can be a donor

You may not be a good candidate to be a living donor based on the results of your evaluation and screening tests. You also cannot be a living donor if you are under 18 years old and/or you have any of the following conditions:

The Rush University Transplant Program cares for patients in need of liver, kidney and pancreas t

Edward Hollinger Jr, MD, PhD is a transplant surgeon at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago

Samuel Saltzberg, MD, is a nephrologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.