What happens when a deceased donor kidney becomes available?

While you are waiting for a kidney, your dialysis schedule, diet, fluid restrictions and medications should not be altered. When a kidney becomes available, you will be called immediately.

The person calling will ask you:

  • How long will it take you to get to the hospital
  • When your last dialysis treatment was
  • Not to eat or drink anything from the time you are called
  • If you have had any recent illness
  • To bring all of your medications
  • To bring your Accucheck if you are diabetic

When you arrive at the hospital, you will be examined and asked questions about your medical history. Your blood will be tested for levels of BUN, creatinine and potassium. You will also have a chest x-ray to check for lung infection and an EKG to check your heart function. You will dialyze if you haven’t done so recently, and you will be given routine, pre-surgical enemas and a special cleansing shower. Your surgical site will be prepared.

While you are preparing, the kidney is also being tested. There is a chance that even if you are ready, the transplant will not be done if your blood shows a reaction to the donor blood. If there is no reaction, a special intravenous (IV) will be inserted near your neck, in a large vein.

Beacause Vidant Medical Center is a research center, you may be asked to participate in research studies. Doing so will benefit both you and other transplant patients.

Haisch, Carl E., MD
Harland, Robert C., MD
Morgan, Claire, MD