The evaluation to be considered as a potential kidney donor is very thorough and includes interviews and examinations with several specialists. 

  • A living donor coordinator will be your primary contact person. The coordinator conducts the initial screening and provides education about the donation process.  
  • A nephrologist will evaluate you to make sure you are medically suitable to donate. The nephrologist ensures that you do not have medical problems that could make donation dangerous for you or the recipient.  
  • A living donor surgeon will discuss the possible risks and complications of a donation and will examine you to determine if you are a good candidate for kidney donation.   
  • A social worker will meet with you to discuss the financial and social implications of donating a kidney. The social worker will identify your social support network and evaluate your ability to cope with the stress of donation. The social worker will also discuss the potential impact the donation may have on your health and ability to qualify for health and life insurance.   
  • A transplant pharmacist will review a current list of medications and identify any potential drug interactions. Then they’ll make recommendations to minimize the effects or avoid them entirely. 
  • A psychiatrist will conduct an evaluation and assessment of your mental health and social history and the relationship between you and the intended recipient. 
  • A dietitian will perform a nutritional assessment and provide education. If you need to lose weight prior to donation, the dietitian can help develop an appropriate diet and help you along the way and provide support.  

You may be referred to other services for consultations. For example, a pulmonologist (lung doctor) or a cardiologist (heart doctor) might be asked to assess you for other medical conditions. 

Independent Living Donor Advocate

An independent living donor advocate (ILDA) will be available for you. An ILDA is professional at the hospital who is not part of the transplant team but is always available to answer questions or address any concerns you may have. This person is your advocate and purposefully works outside the transplant team to ensure that there is no bias when you are evaluated. 

Medical Testing

You’ll get many tests to determine if you can safely be a kidney donor. You may need more tests based on the results of these tests and your medical and psychosocial evaluation. Tests will include: 

  • Blood tests to determine your blood type and if you’re a match with the recipient. These will also test for current or previous infections, including HIV and hepatitis. 
  • Chest x-ray 
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) 
  • Urine tests 
  • CT scan 
  • Pulmonary function tests if you have a history of smoking or lung disease 

Next Steps

Once your evaluation is complete, our Living Donor Selection Committee will do a full review. You’ll be notified if the Committee approves you to donate.  

Each living donor’s evaluation is unique. How quickly the process proceeds depends on many factors. Our team is committed to working within your schedule and tries to be as accommodating as possible. We appreciate how valuable your time is and what a generous gift is being offered.  

You may stop the evaluation process at any time. Donation is a very important decision each individual must make and one which will be respected without judgment.