It takes dozens of dedicated and highly trained individuals to make this incredibly complicated — but fairly common — organ transplant possible.
We at MediGO support all of those involved in making each kidney transplant possible across the country this March, in honor of National Kidney Month.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the hard-working medical transplant teams working tirelessly together to support each donor hero and transplant patient in hospitals all over the country, 24/7/365.
Here’s a look at those involved in the lifesaving kidney recovery and transplant process:
- A Kidney Donor just might be someone the patient knows. Since we all have two kidneys, a living donor could be a friend, family member or a stranger that is a perfect match. Although having a living kidney donation is the gold standard in kidney donations, a kidney donation from a deceased donor hero will also go through a rigorous matching process with people on the national transplant waiting list. Once a match is found, the wait-listed patient will be contacted by their transplant team.
- The Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) is a non-profit organization responsible for the evaluation and procurement of deceased-donor organs for organ transplantation. For every successful match, the OPO is responsible for supporting the donor’s family, plus medical management, testing, organ placement, the recovery of organs, and delivery logistics to the transplant center.
- The Transplant Center that the recipient chooses is exceedingly important to the success of the kidney transplant. Doing research to check out everything from the numbers of kidney transplants performed per year to patient outcomes will help the patient determine the best transplant center for their particular situation.
- The Transplant Surgeon is a seasoned doctor who specializes in kidney transplants. S/he will be responsible for making numerous decisions during the complicated surgery — since no two transplant situations are precisely the same.
- The Transplant Nephrologist has hundreds of hours of hands-on experience with kidney transplants. Rather than replace the patient’s regular nephrologist, he or she will review the patient’s labs and overall health during (and after) the hospital transplant evaluation, making sure the kidney received is best-suited for a great outcome.
- A Transplant Coordinator will be the patient’s main point of contact at the transplant center. With years of experience working with transplant patients, the coordinator will work with the patient and his/her medical team to arrange appointments, answer questions, and can help solve any unique problems of the individual going through the transplant journey.
- A Transplant Social Worker is assigned to the patient by the transplant center. This individual will help the patient find support programs, social services help, wade through insurance issues and medical terminology, and much more.
To quote the old adage, it really does take a village.
Naturally, the patient is the primary participant in every aspect of the pre- and post-transplant timeline. The more the patient takes charge of his or her health, the better the outcome.
The team at MediGO understands the lifesaving work of all those involved in the organ donation and transplantation process. We exist to streamline transplant logistics and communications from OPOs to transplant centers, and help save more lives.