Most patients who have irreversible kidney failure can be considered for a transplant. They must be in relatively good health and willing to undergo assessment.
A member of the transplant team considers all patients who start dialysis for assessment. Some patients may have too many other major medical problems, for example: severe heart and blood vessel disease. Having a transplant may pose increased problems and dialysis may be a better long term treatment option.
Some patients may choose not to be assessed; others may be found to be surgically unsuitable. Before routine tests are performed, medical investigations are needed to make sure that the patient is fit to have a transplant. These will include:
A physical examination
X-rays of the heart, lungs and sometimes stomach and bladder
Patients over 40 years of age and patients with diabetes may have further extensive heart tests.
All patients have:
Transplant education – written, video/DVD and lecture.
A dental assessment
"wellness check" - cervical smear and or mammogram for women - prostate assessment for men
Blood tests for blood typing, tissue typing and serology (virus identification)
All patients are advised that living donor transplants are performed at Christchurch Hospital and that both related and unrelated people may be potential donors. The assessment of a potential recipient for a living donor transplant can be started before dialysis treatment begins.