Frequently Asked Questions About Transplants

Published on in CHOP News

How to Contact the Transplant Team

Q: I have a non-urgent question and can wait one to two days for a response. How do I contact you?

A: You can use MyCHOP, a secure online portal in which you can contact our team to send non-urgent messages, receive lab and visit reminders, and schedule appointments. If you’re not signed up for myCHOP, you can receive instructions to sign up at the time of a visit to any CHOP location. If you don’t have an upcoming visit and would like to sign up, please contact our office or register on this page.

You can also contact us for non-urgent needs by emailing CHOPKidneyTransplantTeam@email.chop.edu.

Q: I have an urgent need. How do I contact you?

A: Depending on the day and time:

Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.: call 215-590-3913

Monday to Friday after 4 p.m. and on weekends and holidays: call 215-590-1000, ask to speak to the nephrology fellow on call. If you leave a message, we will return your call as soon as possible.

Pre-transplant Vaccines

Q: How can I get the vaccines that the infectious disease doctors recommend?

A: A letter will be sent from our transplant team to your primary care provider to notify them of the infectious disease physician’s recommendations. Call your primary care provider to discuss the vaccines needed and to make an appointment to receive the vaccines in a timely manner.

Living Donor Information

Q: What are the steps to become a living donor?

A: Donor qualifications, the steps a donor needs to go through and the health risks to the donor can be found on this page.

Q: What are the types of ABO blood type verification for living donor screening?

A: It is essential to match the ABO status of both donor and recipient in organ transplants. ABO verification includes an American Red Cross blood type card and previous lab results.

Post-transplant Activity

Q: What types of sports should post-transplant patients avoid?

A: Contact sports should be avoided. There are no concerns about patients participating in non-contact activities such as archery, badminton, bowling, crew, curling, dancing, discus, javelin, shot put, race walking, riflery, rope jumping, running, strength training, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and weight lifting. Patients who participate in limited-contact activities should wear a kidney protector. Limited-contact activities include baseball, basketball, bicycling, fencing, high jump, pole vault, floor hockey, handball, horseback riding, racquetball, skating, skiing, soccer (not goalie), softball, squash and volleyball. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your nephrologist or kidney transplant nurse practitioner.

Q: What special equipment should I have to protect my kidney?

A: Information about and examples of kidney guards can be found on this page.

Pharmacy and Medications

Q: What tools are available for medication tracking?

A: MedActionPlan for Organ Transplant is a web-based program to help organize and educate patients to better understand their medication. Patients can also use pill boxes or alarms on electronics such as watches and cell phones.

Q: What should I do when my pharmacy cannot fill one of my medications due to medication production issues or back order?

A: Contact the transplant team (see above). Some medications offer a generic equivalent and others do not. It is best to check with the transplant pharmacist to determine the best plan for filling the medication in a timely manner.

Resources for Networking and Scholarships

Q: Are there transplant networking events for my child to meet other transplant patients?

A:  Transplant summer camps are a great way to meet other transplant patients and an opportunity to participate in fun activities. Here’s a list of camps by state. Cooking camp and workshops at CHOP are another way to meet other local transplant patients and families. Transition day for nephrology patients in May at CHOP also provides opportunities for networking.

Q: Are there college scholarships that my child is eligible for and can apply for?

A: Here’s a list of scholarships by state.